RUTH ASCH

RUTH ASCH

 

Do you know?

 

Wrapped in the gloom of ancient trees I sip my savoured sorrow,

Remembering; and wondering, what heartbreak does the yew know?

 

Oaks are breathing fortitude, cypresses leap from death;

Enduring anguish only weeping willow, umbrous yew know.

 

Beauty and strength I craved, and found - a star like steel burnished.

Did I expect soft as the dove, or docile as a ewe? No.

 

Your love was all my knowledge then: my world, vital but fallen.

You claimed that I would soon find love again. But what did you know?

 

A magnet for my love, you tore from me all joy and kindness,

So,trembling, my friends now ask: would I return to you? - No!

 

Tombstones are my haunt, welcome signposts to rest eternal,

Yet would I follow down the path engraven and leave you? No.

 

I linger in the friendly arms, dark tresses of these shadows,

And tell the sighing trees secrets of love which none but you know.

 

 

 

 

Cloudy Shell

 

Two outbursts of desire; time flooded by eternity;

All pleasure and all pain of life form in one cloudy shell.

 

On passion's winds swept to love's sun, becalmed upon the way;

Suspense: a void, near earth, near heaven, hung in a cloudish hell.

 

You share yourself, untroubled, bright and all too warm.

Longing for your rays alone I sulk in cloudy shell.

 

Amorphous thirsty creatures crawl, live in the dregs of day.

Exposed: searing, too bright! they hide within a cloudy shell.

 

I dance, I sit, I walk with all, yet feel only your glance;

Eyes which look but do not see, glazed like a cloudy shell.

 

On fields of sand the children fray, or grow their castle crops,

Alone, a treasure seeker, I, hunting my cloudy shell.

 

Intricacies gleaming, colours, patterns known so well;

Are these delicate delights nought but a cloudy shell?

 

In glory of soul-piercing light, unheralded on earth

The King descends, reveals us all, riding a cloudy shell.

 

 

 

The Red Flower

 

Moments of treasured memory all hinge about that hour:

Perfection of its kind I met - a fragrant, red, flower.

 

Hair smooth as satin petals, the dark star-stamen eyes,

Your budding lips I longed to kiss, became my red flower.

 

Bulb of passion, my heart filled, till veins and limbs it grew,

And I lived as your devotee: a mute, red, flower.

 

In throes of night I dreamed: your beauty was so dry, so rare,

They shrined you in a crystal case, the label read: ‘Flower'.

 

Jungle people know the living icon I have met;

They call the burning power of man - fire - 'the red flower.’

 

When I have lost all memory, I will live in that hour:

Perfection of its kind I knew - a fragrant, red, flower.