ashen cloak

Dialogue Poem Set 3.2: On Love

Ashen Cloak spoke:




In the ever shrouding room

I stand, staring, motionless

Through the wide glass

Gazing, wonderingly at the

Awesome skies, expanding.


Swirls of atmospheric

Blue amidst blue, baffling

Tints and hues

Pound into the other as the night

Dawns the sky.


I gasp at its perfect majesty

My warm heart melts as

Beauty awakens her sleepless eyes

To stare, tenderly, blindlessly

Into my soul pulling at the

Strings of life – the nerve of my spirit,

Burning and passionate, and

I, quietly restrained…


And then She enters the room,

She stands gently by my side,

To silently face the sky,

Devoid of thoughts on me

But to the night, beyond, inspired.

She too alight.


Her sweet rose perfume seeps

Around me to flicker beneath

My tears, and I dare not turn.

We both stand,

Witness to the imperial tempest,

Reflecting its blesséd faint blue silver

On our intent faces,

Our bodies lost in the darkness.


The en-flamed horizon, a line of fire,

Framed the mauve-purple void.

A flock of tendrils, dark blue, cut across as

Harbingers foretelling the onslaught.

An ocean of blue-black approached

Sailing, flags flying, gallantly

Atop battalions of leviathan clouds.


Watch the scene!

Stare at the bellowing power, incomprehensible!

See the aerial beasts, tearing limb from limb

The remnants of day.

Horrific bliss!

What enchantment was this?


In a moment, all had stopped.

The bulk of black manifest, a monolith

Of gargantuan night flattening the earth.

The darkness had clutched the air,

Like a thief of the heavens,

The bound Titan unleashed and won;

Something precious in its hands yet again,

Smiling, victorious, supreme.

Just as suddenly you left.


Oh how my soul shrank,

To leave me vacant!…

My darling you were like the night

To conquer my waking mind,

Inspiring my sleep and stealing away

My heart, my soul.

We were together, my love,

Our breath in matched synchrony

Even if for a second.

And then, you turned away into the darkness,

Grasping with you my quiet life – burnt to the quick – in your hands,

Making it yours.


And yet it is strange

To be neglected while countless others

Are free from such shadowed thoughts

And glooméd realities.

Far too often, since,

I yearn to be at your side,

Again – at least to see you –

Yet you have no warming light,

Neither golden radiance

Nor fervour, when you see me…

If you see me…


Why must I chant to the nameless space?

And beg for mercy from the un-hearing skies?

Why must I cry when I hear the emptiness…

The voiceless sorrow whisper,

Whispering my name?


I love you my nether-bride.

I love you more since you’ll Never be mine.


By Arif uz Zaman


For the REPLY to this poem, please click on Wherefore Romeo?

For the Prologue to Dialogue Poem Set 3: On Love, please click here.

To understand what are ‘the Dialogue Poems’, please click here.



Filed under Arif uz Zaman: Dialogue Poem, Arif uz Zaman: Poetry, Poetry

11 responses to “Nightlight

  1. Julie

    intensely sad and beautiful…thank you for sharing this with the world


    • Jzk. Thank you for your kind words. The theme of Love can be (is) an emotional topic. I’ve tried to sew together some independent poems into a collective narrative and then with the help of connecting poems, weave them into a kind of tapestry articulating thoughts around a central theme or motif. I hope it worked, inshallah. Still a few to go.

      Your thoughts are so valuable to me – so jazakallah again for feeding back. 🙂


  2. I like your change of style here from the work of yours I’ve read so far. It’s very eloquent and soft in tone, gentle like a swan gliding across the water. The whole poem was amazing to read from beginning to end, but this line for me was absolute pure poetry:

    “Grasping with you my quiet life – burnt to the quick – in your hands,

    Making it yours.”


    • My gosh, jzk for your comments. It’s been so long when I wrote this – sometimes it’s difficult to sense whether its original resonances still ‘sound’, until you hear it back from comments such as yours, so thank you for that. I’m so happy you liked it 🙂


  3. tears! no words. Beautiful, mashAllah.


  4. Reblogged this on a foot on the threshold and commented:
    One of the most beautiful poems I’ve ever read, mashAllah.


  5. I love all the colour imagery, reminds me of Rimbaud at times.

    “Harbingers foretelling the onslaught.

    An ocean of blue-black approached

    Sailing, flags flying, gallantly

    Atop battalions of leviathan clouds.”‘

    I especially love these lines how they lock in together, Leviathan Clouds,


    • Wow, thank you for your feedback. As I’m sure you know, you never know which parts in a poem becomes meaningful to a reader. This has helped me. That this poem reminded you of Rimbaud is a wonderful compliment, so thank you. 🙂


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