Saturday 27 March 2021

Three Vignettes and One Poem by Adele Ogier Jones


Three vignettes



Red roses on dry earth, crumbling clay

so many surprises in Afghanistan

blood red roses bloom

unexpectedly. pink, crimson and mauve

reflecting the surrounding mountains

at dawn and day’s farewelling




as daytime heat dies with the sun

a breeze remarkable in its coolness emerges

long hidden in caves, waits for the dark

to invite the stars on a clear, black night

blows a gentle tune through rustling leaves

a lullaby for weary souls worn down

by harsh light and day’s




night so black in Badakhshan

darker than velvet with sequins of silver

stars take on new meaning, distances and horizons

where Kabul light cannot dim the ebony of night.

darkest in regions, remote and unnamed

in mountains and deserts where campfires

remain unheeded as men gaze to stars

as companions and leaders.




Even a one stringed violin sounds beautiful here

A guitar and accordion can bring a listener to ecstasy

A long trip, short preparations, then a performance

Like a bud transforming to full bloom, full eroticism.


A stage set for dual musicians, guitar and accordion

At their feet tabla and rabab waiting for the moment

A slight cadence, gently building, swelling to roundness

Like a spark bursting into full flame, full heat.


The accordion whispers, one note then and beautiful on the air

Fingers moving down, down an across a bridge, ivory on black

Then full throated and singing in deepest melodies

Rich, exuberant, powerful. Romantic, fully sure.


On and on with the guitar in ascendance and then falling

As the accordion dominates, each playing to the other

Making love, aching for control, sensitive

To the improvisations of the other, each time new.


Then to the stage robed players stroll, ancient and regal

Red flowers presented in expectation of what is to come.

Scarlet cushion reflecting the crimson of the accordion

As it weaves wide, then closed, spreading and collapsing.


Single displays, applause and joined by its ancient mate

In new ways, unheard before, unknown contortions

Together and alone, then another and the fourth, each

Its own music but aware of the other, enjoying the rhythm.


In unison, in opposition, each enjoying the feeling

Exhilarated by the sound which was not the same as yesterday

New sounds with old, ancient rhythm and melodies

Cadences unknown to each other, intervals newly felt and heard.


Building to a crescendo unheard in traditional houses in Kabul

Experiments of an earlier century in Paris and Marseille

An audience cheering in as many languages as the instruments themselves

An encore to guitar and tabla, to rabab and accordion, old and fresh together.

Writing creatively as Ogiér Jones, Adèle calls Freiburg i. Br. and Melbourne home. Professional writing is published under her name Adele M.E. Jones. She has four published collections of poems, the first, Afghanistan – waiting for the bus published by Ginninderra Press (2007, republished 2015), with the most recent, Counting the Chiperoni (Ginninderra Press 2019) written while working in Malawi. She appears in numerous anthologies including I Protest: Poems of Dissent (Ginninderra Press 2020). Like most of her poetry, her first novel Desert Diya comes out of her international and intercultural work.

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