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Potter’s Clay: A Terzanelle


I was potter’s clay, remember O Mahiwal, that day

How the fragrance of your breath filled mine,

Your eyes were sheer wine, from that moment holding sway.

I swore that day a smitten Sohni should become thine,

O Mahiwal, I knew why you came time and again.

With your balmy scent, my breath aligned, two souls entwined.

You stayed behind; thence, I fathomed love’s gnawing pain.

With gushing Chenab, flowed, far and wide, lover’s lore.

But who’s to stand by star-crossed lovers; love’s insane?

And when villagers caught us at the riverside shore

Father fumed, “Deceit! Youth sets passions aflame!”

Wedded to another, I dared trust my nightly oar.

Sail across, O earthenware, in love there’s no shame!

Love’s the only balm. Perhaps, the inebriating mead,

That can heal us. Under night’s canopy none durst blame.

Across the Chenab, I shall tarry, my soul’s hunger to feed.

Chenab embraces me. Ah, my half-baked clay gives way!

Into the waters -that’ll hide our union, our love will bleed.

Potter’s clay am I, shape me O Mahiwal, from this day.


Mumtaz N. Khorakiwala

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