Ode to friends

Oft have poems fallen cheaply
From the tip of my slow, careful pen,
The simple and easy thoughts,
forming rhymes, again, again.
Like pale imitations they are,
Pictures that would never be whole.
Connected to my mind but
Never quite speaking from my soul

Oft I have written of maidens,
Some as comforting as a summer eve,
Some beautiful in their fleeting glory,
Others full of sadness and intrigue.
I have fed off my sentiments often,
Writing Of love, and sometimes of pain,
Some feelings that pervade my existence,
Others I would never feel again.

My poems of heroes, and of kings,
Of cold winters, of colourful springs,
Of lovers from the ancient worlds,
Of vain mortals paying for their sins,
Simple beings wishing to break the mold,
moulting, and metamorphosing,
Emerging from pain in glory, with wings,
and becoming extraordinary things.

But none of them are about my friends,
For lack of words, not of gratitude
Few and so very far afar, my friends,
Companions in the eons of solitude,
Eternal, constant and unchanging,
Unwithering, unmoving figures old,
Catalysts to memories, bitter and sweet,
all alchemically turned to gold.

No poems would describe a soul’s comfort,
The solid, tangible contentment,
brought by my endlessly giving friends,
Giving, and giving without resentment
Like keystones holding a crumbling arch.
An arch that on its own would be dust,
The shielding hands keeping a flame alive
of a candle at the mercy of a gust.

31st of May, 2012

Salman Shahid Khan


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