Wednesday, July 1, 2020



A Window Story

Part 1
The mirror cracked but the lady of Shalott
Did not die, she rose anon
She walked to the window and leaned out
Passing by was the bold Sir Lancelot

Part 2
"She made three paces thro' the room
She saw the helmet and the plume,
She look'd down to Camelot"
His broad clear brow in sunlight glow'd;
From underneath his helmet flow'd
His coal-black curls as on he rode,
.... down from Camelot."
She saw him from her window there
"'Tirra lirra, tirra lirra:'
Sang Sir Lancelot."
"...Lancelot mused a little space
He said, "she has a lovely face.
'God in His mercy' has 'lent her grace'
The Lady of Shalott"

Part 3
She waved at him as he went by
In her hand, a wisp of lace
Sir Lancelot slowed down his steed's pace
The extent of her interest to trace
Her body leaned out from the arch
He could see her to the waist
Her cheek was pink, her blush no waste
Upon the air it fell, so chaste
'What' chivalrous 'heart could' her 'despise'?
He blew her a kiss, that softly fell
She felt, upon her bosom's cleft
"A sight to dream of, not to tell"
"I wish I was that window, fair
Maiden of this town," he cried
"I would have thee ever led
To lean on it and thus be wed
To a picture, fair as a dream
Ever, thy black hair fluttering."
She who had just escaped her dread weaving
Felt alarmed, was there no escaping
Up the stairs came Sir Lancelot
Behind her, as she looked down
From her sight, he had gone
His arms embraced the maid lovelorn
Forlorn for all these many years
Weaving her web, watching in the mirror her tears
His plume tickled her neck and removed her fears
She turned back from the window's frames.

Part 4
He gave her wings, she learned to fly
Far into the distant sky, through the window of delight
Away from the mirror, and bold Sir Lancelot
Away from the town of Camelot
The Lady of Shalott.

Note:  have used 13 lines, a half-line, and a phrase lines from Tennyson to rewrite a story that I felt should have been, long ago. My words are the frame and Tennyson's lines are what you see when you look out through that window. This was written on a prompt given by Agnivesh Mahapatra in TSL

(References also to Gray and Coleridge.)

Proud To Be All Woman

She stands before the mirror
She lets her clothes fall
She lets her hair loose
Rich clusters of black snakes
Tumble down, open
Her shoulders are shapely
Her skin glows in the light
She hefts her bust to hold it straight
Her hands go to her thighs
She turns sidewards to see herself
Her back, her bum, her legs
The clothes lie in a heap from which
Out peep her two soft feet
She is altogether petite
She is altogether strange
Her eyes look back at her, smiling
She is a ripe orange
She stands there, moving now and then
She is her own star
She is her own universe
The moon, the earth, green grass
Spellbound by her self
She forgets all her cares
She loves herself just as she is
Naked as a child
She wonders at the power
That created her
She wonders at her own power
Pulsing at her sight
Not in her reflection
But in her flesh and bones
That is mutely echoed
By that silver door
That is there in front of her
She caresses her self
For one last time, and she sighs
Then stoops to pick up her clothes
Even then she is smiling
Watching in the mirror
Her cleavage and her fruit-like paps
When suddenly, dark falls
Then all she sees is a glimmer
A glimmer and a shimmer
All she sees is her beauty
Veiled, in the mirror again
In the light of the dark
In the shining night
There is no single stutter
Nothing in her falters
When the dark swallows her
She is still whole
She is always whole

Based on a prompt given by TSL’s Lopa Banerjee on the Mirror

Hear My Cry
(Based on Donatello’s Sculpture of Mary Magdalene)

Hear my cry, O Lord
Attend unto my prayer
I came from Magdala, a city a bit far
to Capernaum, where the lilies grow
By mischance, I fell into the hands of a rogue
who took my virginity, promising marriage
and then, sold me for a whore to a brothel
where I was made
to sink into the pits of all debauchery
Men came and did to me all they wanted
to, in their perverted minds
and my heart
dark grew, I cursed them
You know one such as I
feels that she is to blame for their acts
for permitting it, for some bread, and some wine
to bring forgetfulness, as to what they the next day will do to you
I have lost all
and am lost now
lost my beauty, youth, lost everything to men
They say I am possessed and oft I fly into a rage
and no one can control me
then weep like one demented
Then I become depressed and speak no word
but after a while they come and rape me again, shamefully
Lost and wretched, I tried oft to end my life
but they keep me alive for their filthy profit, vile
I heard tell of thee, Rabbi, that you are one
who accepts all
the sinner and the damned
so I have come
with nothing in my hands
to give to thee my all
with nothing but these pangs
Will you also turn away
or are you also bad?
I stand before thee, frightening
to look at, that I know
but you do not know how frightened
I am that you will go
You also will leave me
You are my last hope
They speak of me with dread
They speak of you with hate
We are well met

Don't go, reach out, touch me,
forgive me, make me feel
at least once a human
as when I was a child, again
heal me, and I will follow thee
Though all men forsake thee
I will not, I am a woman
I will be your shadow
And in it, you will gain
the strength you've never known
I know you are the one
who will become more than most
If you will take me in
I will be found, no longer lost.

Inspired by an ekphrastic prompt given by Sunita Singh of Donatello’s sculpture Mary Magdalene


AMPAT VARGHESE KOSHY: Dr. Koshy A.V. is presently working as an Assistant Professor in the English Department of Jazan University, Saudi Arabia. He has many books, degrees, diplomas, certificates, prizes, and awards to his credit and also, besides teaching, is an editor, anthology maker, poet, critic and writer of fiction. He runs an autism NPO with his wife, Anna Gabriel.

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