The Last Day


If I should die, and Lord, perhaps, I might

And if my God should so allow; that I,

With all my mean and cruel ways, take flight

And find myself before a Paradise,


And if my prize were in my hands, I’d ask

That would it be; or could it be that I

Need not be so rewarded that I bask

In light eternal, nor with heavenly hosts.


In glorious coloured robes and finest stuffs

With diadems upon my unworthy brow.

For I would wish that this were quite enough.

That a more earthly scene, for me, would suffice.


No houri gaze to entrance me, nor kohl eyes attack.

No silken tents. No brimming cups of wine.

No red lipped dancing boys, so sinuous backed,

With pouting lips and promise of soft thighs.


Please! Nothing to assault my meaner needs:

No sensuality of silken threads.

There is a softer part of me that pleads:

No cordials, no fragrances, no scents.


If I should be rewarded; which I doubt,

For my brief visit to this lovely sphere

I feel my book of sins needs rubbing out;

That Angel who has charge of it will know


So parade before me, O Lord, I plead:

No snow white camels which at my behest

Respond most willingly. I have no need

Of such and all those other empty things.


Those promises, I beg should cease:

No houris, languid eyed, just for my use;

No more moist mouth, moist eyes, moist belly crease

No virgin maidens, odalisques, catamites,


No more! I beg. No more. I ask again.

No maidens’ eyes, all underlined, moist languorous spheres,

Gold dusted lids, I beg your hand restrain.

Kohl lined sultry eyes to laugh my heart to peace.


But wait, and listen now, I humbly plead:

My Lord, if I could paradise construct,

Sweet Lord, once more, by your good Grace, I need

To be a child again; no more, no less.


To start again, if only in my mind:

To see verdant fields in morning light, dew bathed,

Sun warmed; my hand upon the latch to find

Spread out before me just within my view


A scene I’ve often missed throughout my history.

I tentatively put my hand upon the latch

To fling apart those brass bound doors to show a mystery:

Each chance that I had missed when on this path.


And if my God should so allow; that I,

With all my mean and cruel ways, could find

Another chance to prove that I could try

To build myself a better Paradise,



More by this Author


Comments 34 comments

AngRose profile image

AngRose 5 years ago

This is beautiful Ian, but I cannot agree...I would not want to start over and have to do it all again. The mere thought makes me shudder.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Hi, Angie. I wrote this this afternoon. I have had it in my mind for ages, researched the little bits, and I think it works nicely. We'll see what the reaction might be, eh?

There's a love poem there somewhere... I thought it would cheer you up. I posted it because you said you were feeling sad. "They ask of me, your dark and lustrous eyes" It's a sonnet.


AngRose profile image

AngRose 5 years ago

Oh it works beautifully, it's a lovely poem. It's only wanting to go back and "do" life over again that I can't agree with. I love the poem itself.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I see you picked up one the other one I told you about. I'm just going over to see what you make of it.

By the way; I didn't mean it to turn out like that (going over and doing it again). Poems have a way of running away with me and I seldom know how they are going to end.


BenWritings profile image

BenWritings 5 years ago from Save me from, Tennessee

What a masterpiece. Simply brilliant mastery of words. Once again, I could never create such a lavish elegant piece. You are an artist! A TRUE artist.

Trust me, you are one of the best on Hubpages.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

All in a day's work, my friend. (Being facetious, or course).

I just realised, that apart from some prose, I haven't written any poetry for yonks, and I was beginning to run out of my little stock.

Wrote it today as a result of something you said and Shil's and Angie's constant support.


BenWritings profile image

BenWritings 5 years ago from Save me from, Tennessee

Half of my poetry, I can barely call poetry :P

I consider myself simply a writer. I don't follow styles, rules, rhymes, rhythms...

I just enjoy letting it go, and watching it take shape.

This was a TRULY awesome poem. I must emphasize again...

AWESOME


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Ben, I also do as you. I sometimes find it very difficult to control the poem. I need to stand back and make sure I don't get trampled underfoot as the poem takes form and develops a life of its own. At other times, I just pull myself in sharply and force myself to follow a strict pattern... the Petrarchan Sonnet for example... or to experiment with a vaguely unusual verse and rhyming pattern. A lot of this has come about since I stopped being nineteen... well, twenty, because that is when I started writing poetry. (Out of boredom in Psychology Lectures at Teachers' College).

But thank you again for AWESOME. I love hearing that.

Let the Muse, Erato take you in hand... but not quite yet... she's helping me along again, I think she's been on holiday, and lazy girl doesn't want to get down to full time work for a while.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Dear Ian -It's like a magic carpet ride to an exotic place - with koln lined eyes & gold dusted lids, sultry pouting lips and soft thighs (sinuous backed?? undulating? - Wow - that's interesting!), silken tents and brass-bound doors - - plus even verdant fields in glorious dewy moments!! The imagery is incredible. (I confess that I had to look up a word or two, but I won't go there!) I suspect your wanting to be a child again is so you can again grow into enjoying all that shameless sensuality. All in all, this is hardly a poem about death! Quite viscerally alive, I'd say!

You teem with surprise, m'dear. but not surprising is your very beautiful writing. Applied as here to Eros, quite lovely. Erato is surely your current agent! Definitely gets voted up, awesome and beautiful! As the others have said - YOU are an artist of words and imagery! Compelling, too! More, more!!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Well, my Dear Nellie, perhaps one or two of those words describe what is offered in another form of a Paradise. No, I did not want to start again and taste too deeply of forbidden fruits. Yet, as I would have indicated, yet you beat me to the post, both Eros and Erato walk hand in hand, and perform their naughtiest works together.

There is, if anyone would partake of it, a feast laid out for all tastes in those varying and often highly perfumed versions of Paradise, not just the palest pinks and sky blues and pastels of the tired pallet of the non conformists and the Lutheran; nor the backward looking terrifying scenes our papist brothers envision…

There are (perhaps you did not know) many houris available for those who seek another paradise who are not male, neither are they female.

I love, and this is often apparent in the way I thing (Oh, that it were also in the way I write), the writings of Prokosch and Baudelaire, and others of that genre.

To quote one of my favourite writers:

“Not least the plangent cry of the morning Adhaan, the midday and the evening. Five times that blessed verse called and the citizens turned happy ears and bathed their senses in the sound, till at the final call their hearts and minds, caught in a silken shawl, the sonorous sounds and words that reaffirmed that none is worthy of worship except God.

Regardless whether they were Christian, or Jew or Musalman, they bathed their happy ears in words; ears drank where mouths and lips before had tasted such sweetmeats, honeyed words, confections of the written mind, sweet fusions of words and syllables and of sounds. The lute and dulcimer; the ‘ud and tambour, supported the sublime sound of the human voice breathing life into poetry. Poetry: the drug, the addiction to a syllable of lonely beauty expressed in verse.

The citizens of that place; secure from danger from the envier without; safe from malignant forces from within and without; dwelt in adoration of the spoken word. Poetry their main delight. By virtue of the magnificence of those rose tinted walls and their noble lord, their lot, their heritage: security and peace. The songs profane and beautiful, the love songs of a hundred Rumis; they listened and they heard their cadence reflected from rosewater scented pools; from gentle lips; from the air itself.”

Fear not, I am far too old to embark on a hedonistic life again (Ha!), but would, perhaps to be happy to make amends, and undo the myriad wrongs and laxities of this life.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Now I'm blushing. I'm sure I typed "kohl" rather than "koln" but maybe my spell checker had other ideas. I do know how to spell it! (grin)

Your poem does, indeed, point up a sense of regret & willingness "To build myself a better Paradise" ;- though I'm not so sure why or how, but that's no matter. Surely we all do have some regrets we'd be glad to replace with "better" and if it could be a real paradise, all the better.

I had to laugh a bit at "non-conformists and Lutherans" featured on the same "tired pallet". Of course you didn't say they were the same shade of pastel! The Lutherans I've known were decidedly more conformists than non-! Seemed more gray or beige than just any pretty, delicate pastel, actually.

I know nothing about houris other than what I looked up in my Webster's Collegiate Dictionary upstairs where I was reading your lovely poems. (On the Dell, I lose what I'm doing if I refer to online definitions.) Ah - I just looked it up on my Mac online dictionary - same definition but I notice this about the origins of the word: "ORIGIN: mid 18th cent.: from French, from Persian ??r?, from Arabic ??r, plural of 'a?war ‘having eyes with a marked contrast of black and white.’" Stunning, especially when associated with your almost reverent mention of dark eyes in these latest poems!

You need not write like Prokosch or Baudelaire, dear Ian. YOURs is exquisite. In fact, it is the individuality and uniqueness of each writer (here in HP and elsewhere) which makes it such fun and valuable to read them! The writers' own styles are the real treats.

Your quotation here is lovely. Whose is it? You didn't say. This is especially beautiful: "The songs profane and beautiful, the love songs of a hundred Rumis; they listened and they heard their cadence reflected from rosewater scented pools; from gentle lips; from the air itself." It's almost lovely enough to have been written by YOU! :-)


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I am so arrogant.

"To quote one of my favourite writers:"

You guessed correctly, my friend. It was the person who wrote "I love your voice".

I love playing games... please forgive me.

It's a small section form 'The Potter', the piece that I am having so much trouble finishing. It just wants to go on and on and I want to wrap it up, but am also having so much satisfaction from writing it.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

A beautiful and moving work that is creative, imaginative and unique. This moved me on several levels. Up and awesome.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you for coming to read it Genna. It was a strange one to write as it took on a life of its own and went where it wanted. I certainly didn't plan it this way. It grabbed me on several levels also,

Thanks loads for the up and awesome.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

I just had to add another comment in response to yours: When writing poetry takes us on unexpected journeys and the words take on a life of their own...this is where the true magic of the soul and heart resides. I love it when this happens. :)


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Yes. Sometimes I write something, and suddenly it creeps up behind me and goes, "Boo!"

Or I write something, and later I am reading it, going "La la la" in my mind, and I am dragged into a very intimate and personal place, and I'm crying like a baby.


Sunnie Day 5 years ago

So beautiful and as I read I felt the same way..I don't need all the material things just let me have a "do-over" or a small cabin in the back would do too..I am going to read this again..Awesome!

Sunnie


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you Sunnie. I'm glad it reached into your soul and struck a chord. I think we are reading from the same hymn sheet, my friend. We pile too much importance on things, don't we. And suddenly we realise that we have missed some wonderful opportunities to be just that little bit nicer.

And here endeth the first lesson. Amen.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

It is a beautiful piece, Ian. I am surprised that you don't want all the luxuries that are there waiting for you, it even seems that those very things will be equivalent of torture.

*********************************************************

"How can non-existence get sick of itself?

Everytime you wake up, you appear again out of nowhere. And so does everything else. Death just means the replacement of the usual morning waking with something else, something quite impossible even to think about. We don't even have the instrument to do it, because our mind & our world are the same thing."

— Victor Pelevin (Babylon)

*********************************************************

I think of it as two alternating realities - you wake up into this reality and you fall asleep into another. They are intertwined. What would I want from my paradise? Beauty and harmony. Peace. Of mind.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

How strange, Svetlana, I was just looking at a picture entitled: 'Sleep and his half-Brother Death' or 'Sleep and her half-Brother Death'.

Obviously looking for a little picture to go with my next hub.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Yes, we tend to be on the same wave-length. Does it ever happen to you when you think of someone a few moments before a call comes in? As if you pick up on a connection that is only about to happen?

I read a wonderful novel, in which characters were waking up from one reality into another. In one reality they were all patients in a mental institution. There was an interesting play with numbers as well, there would be always the number mentioned yet in reality it would "that number minus one". I don't think I noticed that the first TIMES I read it.

One episode involved a Chinese communist who was arrested for his revolutionary activities. He said he was not a Revolutionary, but a butterfly fluttering in a field full of red poppies. "If you are a butterfly, why are you working for Communists?" and he said "In a world of butterflies, it does not really matter on what side you are". So he was put against the wall and woken up (you know "being put against the wall is synonymous with being shot). So what happened next? He fluttered away, one has to assume.

I cannot tell you in words how I enjoy Pelevin's writing. Immensely? I love it. It is my paradise.

But certain things, paradise included, seem quite unattainable as scooping sunset...

*********************************************************

The absolute unattainability of her beauty made me sad; I knew that stretching my lusting hands to her was as senseless as trying to scoop sunset with a garbage can.

"Chapaev and Void" Victor Pelevin

*********************************************************

What to do? For you? Writing poetry and dreaming. For me? Reading and dreaming...

Maybe one day we will be fluttering away on the same field...


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Do butterflies write poetry?

Do butterflies research so well as you?

The story that you just mentioned reminds me of 'The Wall' by Jean-Paul Sartre.

Have you read any Irène Némirovsky? I have read a few of her short stories; 'The Ball' for instance. Lovely writer.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Butterflies can do anything they put their minds to.

I read "Suite Francaise", it was lovely. We agree on that. Again.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I was going through a really low and depressed state, and my friend, Marina, ordered me not to read 'Suite Francaise' because she thought it would compound my feeling... I am now having a rest from reading, and trying to write... not successfully.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

She may or may not be right. When I am down I tend to select works that reflect my mood, it is harder for me to read anything too cheerful because it creates too much dissonance. I would even say that cheerfulness aggravates me at times.

I don't remember "Suite Francaise" too well, I had the book, but I gave it away to the library (it was one of those moments!) I usually keep all my books. What I remember is that her prose is really poetic. But I can rarely recommend or order anybody to read anything, it all depends on personal taste.

Write every day, do things you TRULY enjoy, have some moments for yourself. Take a break from HubPages if you need it. Writers must read as well. But I am not a true writer, I am only trying. Unsuccessfully, as well...

And right now? I am so down, it is ... No energy. At times like that I used to read Erich Maria Remarque "Arc of Triumph". I always felt the sense of belonging to the lost and misplaced generation.

The best thing to do as my friend once told me - let go of everything. Relax. All you need will come back. On its own. I do believe in this.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I will have to write or read today. I have woken with no voice at all. I feel as if I have been smoking a lot, or that I have been in a room with a lot of smokers. I don't even smoke. Shame, really, because my voice id one of my better qualities. Meeting me, if one has only spoken to me on the phone, must be a great disappointment, as my voice is very attractive(so I have been told), quite posh, and much younger than my years.

Now I can only squeak... and it isn't even an attractive squeak, like a new puppy, or some such lovely thing; it's more like an old rusty gate.


Sunnie Day 5 years ago

Ahhhh Twilight I am so sorry..I have strep throat and have been fighting high fever for two days..when fever goes down I get up and write, do other things then it hits again..Drink warm lemon and honey tea..wishing you to get better soon..

Sunnie


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you, Sunnie. I wouldn't have thought of it, but you have reminded me. I have some Twinings Lemon and Ginger Tea sachets in the kitchen.

I love the way it feels as if a rasp (not too harsh) is brushing over one's throat.

When I've had it and feel better, I will think of you and send you a big God Bless You.


Docmo profile image

Docmo 5 years ago from UK

This is profoundly moving and beautiful. I love the recurring theme of what paradise would promise and your beautiful decline of the same. It has such simplicity in its desire yet reveals the pleasures of terrestrial simplicity.

The idea of paradise is so subjective and you have wrapepd this up in you finale:

And if my God should so allow; that I,

With all my mean and cruel ways, could find

Another chance to prove that I could try

To build myself a better Paradise,

Loved it!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Docmo, Thank you, thank you so much. And what an articulate and wonderful comment from you concerning the poem. I makes me feel that I must keep up a good standard, or be told off about it. Thanks for your visit, and thanks for your understanding and appreciation.


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean

Twilight that was lovely. You always get such a good rhythm going. But I was wondering... since you won't be needing the dancing boys... maybe I could have them?


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

As I said, Randy, a feast for all who cared to come and partake. There are lots to go round, and like the snow white camels, they will come running at your behest.


Scarlett My Dear profile image

Scarlett My Dear 5 years ago from Missouri

Dear Twilight,

"A scene I’ve often missed throughout my history.

I tentatively put my hand upon the latch

To fling apart those brass bound doors to show a mystery:

Each chance that I had missed when on this path.

And if my God should so allow; that I,

With all my mean and cruel ways, could find

Another chance to prove that I could try

To build myself a better Paradise,"

Amen.

~Scarlett


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you for dropping by, Scarlett. Please feel welcome to read what I have to offer.

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