Pure Slush

flash ... without the wank

Agra Road  /  Bare Ruined Palace

<  David and Big Bird

by Bill Yarrow        The messy love affair  >


Agra Road


“Do you seek in the heart-shaped palace

the cold telos of love?” the guide asked us.

Everyone nodded yes. I stared out the bus

window into the face of a ripe monkey

whose owner demanded forty rupees for

any photographs I took. Is there nothing

willing to forgive the terror of its cost?


Beyond a jade gate, a lotus pillar nods to

a braided fort. To enter in this colloquy,

you must take off your shoes, and when you do,

it is 1653, the year of the diamond moon.

Mughals rule the candied land, alligators bask 

on the soft edge of the Yamuna, but in the iron

sky, the ivory birds are still the birds.



Bare Ruined Palace


These halls, these walls

Naked sacredness is too much to bear


Not bronze nor silk nor bone nor pearl

The cool embrace of the saffron air


The marble imagination transports the driest soul

Every encounter is a dance, every secret has its key


Black kites screech in the varnished sky

Rhino hornbills palaver in the trees


The future is bejeweled

The past is unembossed


published 7 April 2012