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Above: Encased in an armlet, the Kohinoor adorns Maharaja Ranjit Singh's right arm ... in Manu Kaur Saluja's famous painting of the Emperor of Punjab.

Columnists

The Kohinoor

by MICHELE GIBSON

 


Golconda, ‘Syamantaka'
‘Mountain of light'
But the stone seeds a curse
Of primordial spite
*
Near 800 carats
A mountain of stone,
A vastness of cunning,
A peril to own
*
Master Babur thought facets
Would capture the sun
Though a head almost rolled
When the cutting was done
*
Borgio ate more bits
Than the diamond could lose
And emerged all ‘a-glitter'
On trap, lap and shoes...
*
More Kohinoor dazzled the floor
Than remained
(And Babur's lapidary
Was ne'er seen again!)
*
His battles were lost,
Then betrayed by a son,
Yet, he circled the sick bed
As life was undone
*
A craft for disaster,
Carats -186
And a staggering splendour,
Each Monarch bewitched
*
Was it only the men
It seemed dying to greet?
As the Kohinoor plagued
The lion Ranjit
*
The Brits had an eye
For his gems and his land
And betrayed young Duleep
To relinquish the sand
*
It was passed, palm to palm,

No one uttered its name
But Victoria would come to know grief
All the same
*
Prince Albert sent the devilish gem
Far afield
And in Amsterdam found him
A ‘surgeon' of steel
*
A line here, a line there
A girdle to synch
The dazed lapidary
Scored the gem in a pinch
*
A month or more carving
A bite and a chip
71 carats loose
With a tap and a slip
*
But Albert slips too
He fell to its way,
They cut it and chop it
Yet the curse takes the day

You can pass it, bequeath it, bestow it
But best,
Send the stone to the tower
And put it to rest.

 

June 30, 2010

Conversation about this article

1: Harnam Kaur (Chicago, Illlinois, U.S.A.), June 30, 2010, 12:07 PM.

We've missed your poems in recent weeks. As always, love this one on the famous 'rock' ... you capture centuries of history in a handful of words. Simply exquisite! Thanks ...

2: Kirpal Singh (Daytona Beach, Florida, U.S.A.), June 30, 2010, 3:56 PM.

Welcome back, Ms. Gibson! Thank you for this lovely poem. Please don't go away in the future! It is delightful to read your poetry and articles. Thank you, again!

3: Irvinder Singh Babra (Brampton, Ontario, Canada), June 30, 2010, 5:51 PM.

And where have you been, the Kohinoor of sikhchic.com? Poet Michele Gibson, somehow, you have been able to establish an audience with a community which is male-dominated, martial in body and spirit, and it's the community which is admiring your poems and poetry, something out of this world! Congratulations, keep poeting!

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