In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
We all know, get built, as per his decree
Caverns not only measureless
But also countless, and a dome numinous;
Above a sunless sea!
*****
“That sunny dome! Those caves of ice!”
None knew what lay inside or their size
Till I caught her and held her fast
And would not let her by me, past
My precious tale, to her to recite
I transfixed her with my ghostly eyes
*****
“Aladdin’s cave was not so enchanted
The walls were transparent and full of lights
Mysteriously, with the sound of wind-chimes
Though no wind could blow there, except breath’s rhymes
Stalactites hung from the roof like angel’s wings
And stalagmites from the green floor rose, in charmed spiral rings
Of magic, and smoke that wouldn’t melt; but enchantingly swirls and swings!
*****
Seats were there by the sides of the caves
Made by no hand or by fairies and elves
Seats made of snow and ice and frost’s play
On which a profusion of precious stones did bewray…
When the lights caught them in all their rich disarray
Throwing colours on the wall, in all the myriad hues of day!
*****
The Blues of Sapphire and Lapis Lazuli
The Greens of Emerald and Jade
The Reds of Ruby and Garnet
The Yellows of Citrine and Beryl
The Orange hue of light-filled Amber
Awrily strewn on and littering those shelves
That also doubled as icy Diamond-studded seats!
*****
The wonders of the caves did not cease there
The floors were covered, forsooth, with
Pearls, opals, moonstones, onyxes and tigers’ eyes…
And many more Decorations, found only in myth
That would take too long for me to describe
Unless time for you, lady, no longer did abide.
*****
The caverns were numberless
But in each dwelt a sprite
Made of marble and alabaster
Translucent to the sight
Each, a nude woman’s shape
Verily, a shapely woman; to the touch like crape!
*****
One, a damsel with a dulcimer
An Abyssinian maid, did curvaceously simmer
In her nubile lack of feminine attire
Sang soulfully, softly, with no trace of satire
Like Circe’s siren, of a world without wrong
And beseeched Cubla Can to enter the sunny dome;
The measureless caves of ice with his measured tread to roam
******
The architect’s sleight did he praise in his mind
Seeing the countless strewn gems and all the strange delight
That was spread in the underground paths, amidst fronds and plants
That seemed to be those found breathing, submerged on the ocean floors
And unknown trees lived there that gave off a phosphorescent gleam;
Fireflies that danced gaily and lit up a covert stream
****
All the hollows seemed to be full of gentle steam and rills
And sweet smelling camphor and myrrh and perfume of aloes
And other fragrant zones that smelled of Arabian cloves
And rare Indian perfumed unguents’ open-stoppered spills
As he walked on, Kubla Khan felt his head begin to slightly reel
Yet still the song drew, making his prow set towards it an even keel.
****

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One response »

  1. Beyniaz says:

    Nice!

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