SAPPHO TO APHRODITE
Poem By Keki Daruwalla
Long and lonely are my nights.
Come help me Goddess, end my blight;
her absence burns me, burns my sides
with love intense.
Aphrodite, hail or sleet,
I implore you to come down from Crete;
my altar smokes, awaits your feet,
Your love-demented Sappho pleads:
Give me no manna and no mead.
It's love, not wine that Sappho needs
I haven't had a word from her!
Once again make her my lover
in bed and bower her breasts should flower,
in my hands.
Her star-erasing beauty's spell,
turns me feverish, frail, unwell.
Her presence is both bliss and hell -
I tremble so.
Her absence scars my empty flank.
Goddess you don't need my verse
to tell you this. My love is frank,
I can't dissemble so.
Bring back Gongyla to my side!
May she once more become my bride!
May she, her lyre and her fire
beside me purr.
Come foam-born and Cyprus-born,
Goddess of love and the lovelorn,
my altar awaits you with fire-urn,
incense and myrrh.