ask the hawk, he knows
how you take my love across wild roses’ bed
and tie the bottom corners to my ankles
how shadows can stretch us, twist us,
re-shape us, even
tangle us but never break us
how soul touches soul on the lips
and you take my wrist
knowing it’s your wrist
and you kiss it
About the poem:
This is a poem about love, but it can take many shapes, and I think this is what I most love about it; there is also a certain level of vulnerability with the kiss on the wrist which portrays the deep trust they share.
A kiss on the wrist is a deeply meaningful and beautiful, intimate act. It assumes a shared trust and surrender. Yet despite the power that one can have over us, when we’ve given him our entire being, he will not misuse it, he will not harm us; during our most vulnerable and fragile moments, when he has us by the wrist so to speak, he will hold us and kiss us. A kiss on the wrist is an offering of ourselves to someone, and honouring for them. Of course it’s deeply sensual and sexual as well and this poem certainly has those notes of physical intimacy.
When we kiss someone’s wrist, our lips touch the thinnest of their skin, and we can hear their heartbeat. Even in the darkest rooms. Through all misunderstandings and struggles, in this tenderness of skin is where hearts meet, and can trace themselves back to the time when they fell in trust, and in love. We can remain tender with our partner and remember that despite it all, there is a love, a gentleness bared of ourselves that we can touch and reconnect to.
In the beginning of the poem we see that high love, sacred love, soul love, can be grounded here on Earth, and for it, we will be willing to surrender our high flight. Healthy dependence creates true independence and this what hawks teach us – we shouldn’t be afraid to fall into someone’s arms when the love is real and strong. And of course, there will be shadows creeping, there will be misunderstandings, things will not be perfect – nothing here in this realm is perfect, and it should’t be anyway. But what remains eternal and perfect always – what remains immortal – is true love, sacred love, and our everyday decision to choose compassion and forgiveness. A decision to stay tender, like the inside of our forearm. Love transcends shadows cast by the sun during the days, it sees beyond the tanglings and twistings of our conditioned human minds. And it flows through us always – we can never lose it but we have to choose it every day because human hearts are fragile. What is most beautiful here on Earth is that by having human hands, and human bodies, we can touch the hands of our beloved, we can kiss their lips and palms, we can see the colours of their loving eyes, we can speak sweet nothings in their ear, and we can smell their neck, and the roses that scent our rooms, when we are laying beside them, in the perfect simplicity of just being together. This is what matters.
You can also visit my poems page, check out my two love poetry books, Moonhold (2019) and The God-like Things (2021), listen to my spoken word while musing over some of my videos and photography, and read my essay on poetry and mysticism published in The Poetry Question Journal.
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Cover photography by Thomas Gunillasson.