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Henna Days

November 17, 2012

In shallow water, her wrinkled
feet still glide ā€“
++++++henna’d like a girl’s

Intricate as cone shells, decades redden
her soles, blood orange memories
++++++creasing underfoot-

++++++Eid days, prayers and dresses
++++++when she ran the sandy streets
++++++visiting, gifted sweets

++++++And as a bride, gilded with rosewater
++++++oud and frankincense, hands
++++++swathed in red gold, dripping

++++++Her babies, curled in the nest
++++++of her lap, eyes kohled and
++++++liquid brown, bracelets ringing

Now, in the early morning of her age
she is a black whisper
++++++almost inaudible

But in the sea, her feet
are nymphs in the waves, painted,


Up for another Tuesday night round the world poetry read that is Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub

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  1. ooh the colours… almost hypnotic. The singing feet really give it the push at the end

    • ah Thanks Luke. Colour really can work hard in poetry don’t you think? As she was clothed from head to toe in black.. the reds and oranges really had to make her individual statement.

  2. nice…i like the use od color as well…blood orange…smiles…very cool…the use of feet is evocative as well…i am glad you wrapped back on them in the end…and what a relief to feet as well to be in the water…alove again…

    • She was such a striking woman… I saw her a couple of times on my early morning walk.. glad to have passed her liveliness on…

  3. I love seeing those henna designs for festivals – you capture color and culture very well in this song of a poem.

  4. she is a black whisper
    almost inaudible

    But in the sea, her feet
    are nymphs in the waves,

    It is the interior life that travels in time, that is rich with allusion and power. Love it, it sings a beautiful song.

    • Yes, her interior life was splashing that pristine sea.. was a joyous moment and I had a very strong sense of her individuality

  5. bare feet, heena’d or no and i’m in it no matter what! šŸ˜€
    they are my favourite body part and perfect for poetic ref . . .
    blood orange memories – anything bloodorange and i’m in . . .
    by the time i’m at nymph feet, painted and waving and having been treated to
    a selection of sensual servings, i am just about ready for a milkshake . . .
    man! if you had included bannana milkshake we would have had a fullhouse! šŸ˜€

    great work becky! for all the right reasons too . . .

    • Ok.. next time a banana mikshake..:) Cheers Arron… you always find something to jump in for..

  6. Fun images on the beach and of time etched in the skin and the mind.

    • Thanks Sabio

      • Love Henna — I have had Henna parties at my place occasionally where we color each other’s feet! A custom I brought home from my years in the sub-continent.

        Question: how to you get WordPress to allow you to format your poems with single line returns and tabs? When I want control over format, I do it on another software and convert it to .png file. Just curious. thanx.

  7. “But in the sea, her feet
    are nymphs in the waves, painted,

    Aw, Becky, this is absolutely lovely. Totally swept away in your words. Well penned!

  8. Delicate but strong, bright but intricate rather than garish, everything works with precision in this living, walking portrait of a woman and her place in the world. And it’s just lush and lovely to read, as language. Enjoyed the trip, becky.

  9. This is so beautifully done–color works so well in this piece–

  10. i’m glad she finds balance and peace when she’s in the sea…her feet…nymphs in the waves, painted, singing…so beautiful

  11. Thanks for stopping by, Becky. I’m finally reliably reconnected with the world! I love the image here of the hennaed feet in the waves. And the whole piece brings back such great memories of my time in Morocco, when a friend arranged for traditional henna on my hands upon my departure from the country. I ended up with the most intricate work I could have imagined; they looked like red-brown lace gloves covering every bit of skin from fingertips to wrist. I still bore faint traces of it when I arrived in Russia three month later…

  12. Julie…. great you could drop in (mid-Ocean?) So glad to hear this jogged some henna memories of your own… it’s the change from deepest brown…to chestnut… to bronze..fading to orange.. tells its own story as the days and weeks pass šŸ™‚

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