Portrait of Muni

How does one love
an ancient love anew
where to touch
like morning dew
the gentle leaves
that are your hair,
the cool spring
from which you perspire
to guess rightly
and awaken
seconds of desire.

A snowflake sighs
and fills the Danube
A somber wave
the Douro drains
Tears of spring
wash white hills
Spain’s winter
the ocean reclaims.

Darkness here
gently descends
a solitary star
to illuminate pretends
Memory singing
in the night
Your visage smiles
the only light.

Could now
I but hold your hand
hearing the Douro
breeze through your hair.

Soaked in darkness
beyond the cliffs
afternoon disappeared
like dreams I leave
when morning rises
One star only
perhaps long dead
– or so I learned –
final light sharing
its destruction.

In that point
the darkness breaks
I find my love
in unknown past
in uncertain future.

When the moon smiles
with yesterday’s sun
That star she knows
was my only one.

• Photo by T.P. Wilkinson

Dr T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket between the cradles of Heine and Saramago. He is author of Unbecoming American: A War Memoir and also Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa. Read other articles by T.P..