By Fiza Pathan
The tempter resides within the soul of my immortal spirit.
It lays there dormant, but when aroused it sends
fires of oblivion to burn the curtains of my innermost temple.
I can’t live with the tempter residing within my breast
for the charcoal that burns my chest hurts me
to cry out in pain to the Holy Ghost for mercy.
The burnt part of my skin peels off in agony
and to hide my shame, I swallow the burnt flesh
and drink its flaming blood with disgust.
Get away from me tempter of the ages!
Rid me of this torture which pulls the arteries
of my heart to do the things I do not wish to do.
But the gods of the mountains don’t care about me and my pain
however much I plead to them and offer sacrifice─
they enjoy my agony those senseless beings
to whom flesh and skin mean nothing.
However I’m merely human
─ mortal in all ways,
so my breast is scorched
by the hell fire of my temptations.
Why this pain O devil of the bottomless pit
to the one who has made herself the eunuch of God
according to the prince of a millions swords?
Why these torments O demon of the deeper ether
to the one who only wishes to prune
the poems of the muses to perfection
by mortification of the body?
You persist to burn up my larder of poetry
and make me pen down unholy verses
about you and your minions.
‘Get ye behind me Satan,’ said the prophet
of the forty day fast, and now I intone his words
yet again, to keep you away from my heart.
Spare me beast of doom and let the harmless poet
stretch her arms towards heavens to borrow
a pen from the masters of intuition
to ponder in ink over my verses.
Spare me vermin of the lair but ─
why should I ever ask you for mercy
when I am aware that poets
are meant to be a flame of confusion
for their works to become pieces of art?
Pardon O pardon, sin is my teacher ─
actions of the knowledgeable
are the fruits of perfect poetry.
Go on defiler of the human soul,
spit out fire so harmful at me
so that I can kiss your breath,
with the nib of my pen.
Copyright © 2014 by Fiza Pathan
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