[poetry]: The Soul’s Kiss

(c) Nin Harris 1997

How does one discern the imprint of a soul?
it is lighter than a fingerprint upon your skin
which only magic dust can show
The kiss of the sun
leaves its imprint in darker hues
its glory against your form
leaves a lengthening shadow as you walk
but a soul’s kiss?
it leaves no mark upon your hue,
the make-up of your being,
but how it mutates your soul!

Less obvious than the sun’s glory,
the glow of the soul is an invisible thing
but one which can char and tar and scar
a soul beyond recognition much fiercer
than any ball of gas could aspire.

A soul’s kiss
is a dream in the night
half remembered in images which do not coalesce
it is a blanket of softest down
dulling your senses when you walk and talk
with untouched beings
who never have known
who never could know.

What then is its secret?
this soul without form
intangible conception
in a compact of dreams.
what is this soft glow
that is so much stronger than the sun ?

A mountain of gold for the genius
who invents a soul-scanning machine
let us cut across the futile questings
of dreams, poems and songs,
soul questing maps of obscure formulas.

Is Science the answer?
could all your achievements
against time and space and all laws of nature
discover the origin of this soul upon mine?


What is the imprint of a soul?
child of nightmares; a scream in the dark,
or a Zephyr coming to carry one
off the dragon’s rock of isolation
like Psyche so long ago.
the fall of sunlight within a clump of weeds
once mundane, now a glorious
profusion of life.
The beguiling mystery of tunes half-remembered
it is a door tantalisingly left open
in the marble halls of daydreams
it is the sweep of red and cobalt blue
upon a thick white canvas.
this pattern of my days
this purpose-shaping chisel
is a hand through a darkened doorway
beckoning me upwards toward the light
it is a rock that carries me on
a downward spiral

scientist and philosophers!
I defy you to try
and discover the geometry of this force.
I defy you to render this dark magic onto prosaic ink on paper
— or blinking letters on a screen.
If x= the effect on my existence
and y= the purpose of my days,
how many more letters of the alphabet
would it take to command a solution
to this uneasy formula
can those mysterious digits
find the spark of words not remembered
and features blurred by the light of dreams?
(August 1997)

Notes: I sat on the steps outside a lecture theatre one morning after listening to Maria Callas arias on my commute. I was a third year law student who was spending more time reading the Classics (Greek and Roman poets and philosophers) and listening to classical music and the opera than she was reading the thousands of cases and legal notes assigned to her. (But I still read quite a lot. I was a dutiful law student who sometimes stayed in the law library until 8-10pm). Suffice it to say, being inundated with facts, probabilities and reasonable doubts, my poet’s soul rebelled and wanted something…more. Many poems of this ilk were the result.