||[Jun. 3rd, 2018|10:16 pm]
The windows being open I can hear the cars passing along the through road a block west and the lesser road a block south. The evening cools quickly. This afternoon the sweltering roads transported me to those big buildings where things are sold, and I pushed a cart along their aisles of crowding abundance, choosing things to buy. Now there are cans and boxes and bags and bottles of things waiting in my cupboards and refrigerator to be devoured. I've already devoured a bit of chocolate, and it sent memories through my tongue to my brain. |
Outside the darkness is filling up with the scent of jasmine. I catch a whiff now and then, though the hedge is on the opposite side of the house. It is a strong fragrance, and pervasive now that so many of the blossoms have opened. It will be there all night, when I go out to listen to the crickets and watch the moon rise, when I say goodnight to any of the feral cats who might be hanging around. I wonder what the cats think of that perfume? It must be far stronger to their sensitive noses than it is to mine— even overwhelming. But they don't avoid the yard while the jasmine is blooming, so I guess it doesn't offend them.
Evening ages and the cars pass less often. The crickets grow a bit louder. I can feel the coolness drifting in, but it will be hours before enough of it enters to properly chill the house. In the meantime I have chilled drinks. The remainder of the week I won't be in such need of them, as weather more springlike will be making a return. June is being nice, for now. Dare we hope for a kindly July?
City of Lights
by Faiz Ahmed Faiz
On each patch of green, from one shade to the next,
the noon is erasing itself by wiping out all color,
becoming pale, desolation everywhere,
the poison of exile painted on the walls.
In the distance,
there are terrible sorrows, like tides:
they draw back, swell, become full, subside.
They've turned the horizon to mist.
And behind that mist is the city of lights,
my city of many lights.
How will I return to you, my city,
where is the road to your lights? My hopes
are in retreat, exhausted by these unlit, broken walls,
and my heart, their leader, is in terrible doubt.
But let all be well, my city, if under
cover of darkness, in a final attack,
my heart leads its reserves of longings
and storms you tonight. Just tell all your lovers
to turn the wicks of their lamps high
so that I may find you, Oh, city,
my city of many lights.
—translated from the Urdu by Agha Shahid Ali
I think you just jinxed July.
Nah, I had my fingers crossed when I wrote that.
(Or was it my eyes?)