You asked me today
What I would write about you if I ever did.
If I could paint you, you would know.
I wish my words could paint your mind
As the oil colours the canvas of cloth.
I wish you could see what I see.
I see a rising sun,
Red with shyness,
Trying to hold back her brightness,
Embarrassed that the world can see her.
I see this rising sun,
Aware of her potential for brilliance
When she ascends the young firmament of receding stars.
But she is afraid of doing so. Not so early. Not now.
She does not show that she likes
When people appreciate her beauty.
She enjoys it and becomes redder.
And her redness, the innocence of her reservedness
Spreads slowly across the wet canvas of the sky behind her;
Clouds, dark and ominous, start getting silver linings.
The things that were scary, are now in better light.
She does this without knowing it.
She feels that by lighting up the sky,
She has somehow exposed others around her as well:
Exposed to the eyes of people
The eyes that criticise beauty as much as they condone it.
But she also knows deep down that it is her destiny
To rise one day to the zenith of this firmament
And once there, resign herself to full brilliance.

Resign herself is what she thinks of it.
Pride is what she needs.
She bows her head and hides her face,
Hoping the darkness of her hair is cover enough.
She does not know that when those eyes open
And stare directly into the eyes of mortals,
It is no less beautiful than a sunrise
For they are too brilliant to look directly into.
And poets, unlike painters, can only draw
Inspiration from nature.
They lack the vision of originality.
And so they have to reduce a picture
To a metaphor, an imperfect parallel. A glimpse.
I am incapable of painting better than this.

2 responses to “Sunrise”

  1. I am so getting a hold of your phone at dinner today. 😀
    Just wondering if there were any Sufi influences for this poem – could so easily have been about… Nah, let’s not give God credit for everything!


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