Monday, March 29, 2010

Walking Away from the Taj

(Poem composed while strolling through Taj Mahal)
Bee hives hung from the red brick gates, and green canaries darted to and fro atop the white marble towers, in the garden he built for her, leaves fell from tall cypress, and I stood wondering.

On the walls of her mausoleum are precious stones of the globe. Lapis from Chile, Opal from Bengal, Turquoise from Afghanistan, Onyx from Africa, Chinese Jade, and Jasper from Rajasthan. He spared no expense for this beloved bride. He brought the best artisans and craftsman, they carved her tomb from the block of marble and laid her there, and now the world wonders.
They met when she was married, in the bazaar she offered him candy and demanded he play a jewels ransom. He agreed and saw the trace of a smile beneath her veil. He waited until her husband died, then she bore him fourteen children. All of them wondering, what is the love story of my own.
The towers slant three degrees so as to fall and not cause damage, the dome is built without spike or nail, the walking pool’s majestic line is cut to give full beauty if one just looks long enough on the surface of the water, past their own reflection, they might see it, and wonder, is this really love?
When one is in India, one wears it like a thick glued on shackle. There is no escape, but here, amid the plush gardens and bright stone, one sees, one knows, one is able to ponder the softer side of life. Is this how one walks away from love? Is this how someone honors it instead? Must one bury the dead in memory or keep the memory alive after it is lost? Does this allow us to live freely? What kind of woman asks a man to erect this for her? What kind of man loved a woman this much to comply? May we all live to unlock this mystery and ponder all its splendor in the gardens, pools, and mausoleums of our own hearts.

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