Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Houris riding camels in paradise. 15th-c Persian ms. WIki


Where are the sloe-eyed houris,
those dark gazelle-eyed women,
those lovely ones of modest gaze,
with lustrous onyx eyes inlaid in pearl,
their faces as bright as full moon,
their faces as bright as the shining stars,
their invisible legs, transparent
right down to the marrow of their bones,
their gossamer legs glimmering beneath the flesh,
the marrow of their bones 
like the insides of pearls and rubies,
like red wine in a white glass,
those pure ethereal beings of paradise,
those splendid musk-scented companions 
always of equal age no matter what their age.
The mere thought of those nubile women,
those perpetual born-again virgins
who would never dare shit or bleed or spit,
make men hard as rock, but who would want
women with dry alabaster labia hard as stone?
Were they only figments of the imagination,
those pre-Islamic ginnaye, those angelic
creatures of free will, made of smokeless fire?
Once they were shapeshifters, demoted to djinn,
now mere vessels of thought who perpetually enter 
the eight doors to the garden of Jannah,
those countless tribes of 72 celestial virgins
recreated anew in the hereafter
awaiting each martyr so willing 
to die for a name.

a somewhat found poem from Wiki entry on houris. Today I wrote an essay on Arabic words in Spanish, and became saturated with words from the Arabic. I was enthralled with the word houri. Gazelle-eyed. FWIW, I did not expect to go there.

Though I did not look at the April Poem a Day prompt, it happens to be on life and death, so it fits the challenge.

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