I had written and published CONVERGENCE two years ago. I reiterate this poem’s parallels between two iconic individuals in the light of the upcoming release of SPENCER starring Kristen Stewart as Lady Diana.
The binding thread here is director Pablo Larrain who had previously helmed the brilliant 2016 portrait of Jackie Kennedy titled JACKIE where Natalie Portman essayed the beleaguered first lady with understated elegance and pathos. It’s one of the works that has inspired me in multiple ways.
I mean I had written this work as a tribute to two women who, I felt, were like soul sisters. This is further attested by Mr. Larrain’s choice to bring their individual lives to the spotlight in complex interiority.
That also validates my own vision. So read it again and share your thoughts.
Just when the weight of the crown had extricated itself,
from the crime of almost snapping her neck,
A glass palace in her mind crashed.
a whirlwind of faraway drums tin-tinning in her head.
Cracking a crooked, dewy smile,
Keeping abreast of her tour of engagements.
Intent on remembering the last thing she said,
Everlasting pleasantry or just a peck on his cheek before tucking them to bed,
the kids and Jack.
The Pacific waves crash at her side,
on the assassin’s pathway,
where compassion and her snubbed radiance were last heard walking on the beach,
talking over the politics of killing fields and nuclear disarmaments.
Cocking an inlet, cocksure
Kindling the final vulgarity of his death.
In her lap his brains lay splayed
Enjambing the poetic words that died on his beautiful head and shamed every father’s rifle.
Shots were fired at her that day,
Jackie was splayed wide open,
kissing dripping blood on entitlements of ‘ the most famous woman in the world’.
All her particulars memorialized on Love Field.
Deftly walk in the hall,
my befuddled princess in the mirage.
What poise became yours even as conspiracy theories overtook your chambers.
What did it leave you with?
But a ‘ candle in the wind’ and a consolation from the windswept dust of Windsor.
A nominal title,
from cameras stationed like overhead helicopters that you loathed.
They smothered your wavelengths and still you delicately waved at each.
Is this the soft stereotype of womanhood
as it embraced you?
Or is it the unsaid, unfelt, tutored dignity that suppresses desires,
so what remains if ‘ worldly’ is your undertaking.
The mud of luxuries that you tread on
as the eyes, ears and spirit of England
and the cosmopolitan fluency of London that heroically consumed you overall.
Where was Diana in all this?
in the Distasteful heirarchy that she inherited
Instigated towards keeping appearances,
taking her part.
Another part in the violence of unfaithful kitchen sinks,
and Artful nose-diving in the cesspool of youth diminishing, with every act.
Acts of such force – fed maturities were those.
Where was the name in all this?
Her name blossoming with protrusions out of the headlines,
as ‘ the most famous woman in the world’.
But the swan like upper-crust had to remain,
the dignities of irony too
and the mere skeleton and cult of the good woman.
Diana had perished long ago in all this,
didn’t you see?
all gloves and pearl necklaces
and fashionable decorum,
misogyny dreaded and smelt from a distance,
authority that shut you mum.
The cumulation of your burdened histories had to come to this?
But you gave them the middle path
and broached your own negotiations in individual links.
All your own
spurning the smug, crushed jewel of tradition.
Love Field at an angle,
Champs Elysees and Paris, bon vivant,
at the axis of correlation.
The pure acrostics of lives intertwined,
dissolving in the quicksilver flashes of death and registries of popular culture,
for better or worse,
with burnt historic hands dealt.
The fluid parallels
The bloodied shots in rear view.
Blessed be the spectre of thee,
bleeding womanhood supreme
and in gobsmacked tragedy,
never giving in to idolatry
or melancholy’s rush hour.
They are what they are,
huddled spirits in unison
for the ashen infidelity of men.
Two women conjoining fates in constant, equivocal flutters.
Till those car rides each
Thinking back to Time’s finest chronology,
descending in the flagrant history of blood.
All they accommodated were these :
free will and a life to cast out of those shadow lines,
giving away to the personality of eras,
a shroud of silences to enwrap itself in.
Long live the legend of thee.
‘ candle in the wind’ refers to the iconic elegiac song by Sir Elton John that was dedicated to Diana.