Sophie Doulut, “The Ivory Horse”

One day I rode a magnificent ivory horse

It took me up high into the sky

Galloping as fast as it could,

Bolting from one cloud to the other,

And I finally landed

Onto another soil,

A foreign kingdom

Where strange people

Spoke a different tongue.

‘Maybe I will find

My Arabian prince’,

Thought I.

‘Where can I meet Thee?’

Said I.

Surprisingly the horse replied

‘Who do you think I am?

Some mere machine

With mechanical designs,

With no heart inside?’

Whined He.

And like Aladdin

Riding an ebony horse

I realized true love

Was not predictable

And could take Ovidian shapes.

Being thus invisible

To my eyes,

But not to my heart,

Being deaf

To my ears,

But not to my soul.

The ivory horse

Was but an allegory

Of the love

I hadn’t seen

It was withering

Like some forgotten orchid

In the realm of the Unconscious.

So hark, reader, hear me!

Love can be hidden

Within a friend’s heart,

Within an acquaintance’s eyes,

Love can be found

Next door,

Across from where you live,

And ignored 

For being too common

And not original.

But the harp of your soul

Plays in tune with it,

And your mind might know,

But will fatefully turn down

The apple of your eyes…

                                                                     Sophie Doulut, Les Arcanes de l’Esprit, 1997-2009

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