I could gasp
Breath taken away by how much I love you;
The way you love me.
But I’ll probably moan about it instead,
Reliving you as you
Come inside my head.
What is love?
It is only a word
It’s where it comes from,
How it manifests itself
Within the folds and creases
Of a laundered life
That really matters.
Happy national poetry day 2019! This year the theme is change, or so I am told. So in the poetic spirit here is a poem I wrote a few months ago about things changing. It is totally bonkers, I was going totally mad when I wrote it, but things change and get easier and despite its total weirdness, I really quite love it.
Things I learned today:
That cupboards with different doors on
Are still the same but
Look like different cupboards
Just less unhinged.
That looking back can help you look forward and
That I haven’t changed much,
You are the first person that I have loved so completely
But maybe you won’t be the last…
I have learned that at one point in my life,
Someone else really thought they loved me and that love was and can and should be exciting
But somewhere along the line I settled for safe.
I was reminded that
You are not the first person to quote me poetry
Even, the first person the write me poetry,
Although, yours is, or was, more meaningful and beautiful than any that came before.
I found out that my virginity cost me 110 euros.
This made me laugh –
I must have been worth the price
At least once,
Although I’d pay
The price for you a thousand times over.
I have become fitter, thinner, more, or less, assured with age.
I have become braver, yet
I still don’t have the courage to say
To your face,
Exactly what I want.
I still try to hide when I cry.
I realise I can throw things away
That mean whole lifetimes
Because they are broken and taking up room and I also know that
I can fill that void with something else
That wants to belong.
I need to belong.
Did you know,
Tiny splinters hurt more than you realise and
So does the cold?
I am reminded, that despite this,
I am kind,
That I do not always start the fight
But will probably try to finish it…
This made me laugh.
And I take this with a pinch of salt
For I feel misunderstood,
I am a bad influence.
I cannot believe it.
I am juxtaposed,
Meet my eyes with yours
I’ll tell you I love you
For a while
Shake slumber softly into day
Hold them, before they slip away.
Another little treasure…
No matter why, nor whence, nor when she came,
There was her place. No matter what men said,
No matter what she was; living or dead,
Faithful or not, he loved her all the same.
The story was as old as human shame,
But ever since that lonely night she fled,
With books to blind him, he had only read
The story of the ashes and the flame.
There she was always coming pretty soon
To fool him back, with penitent scared eyes
That had in them the laughter of the moon
For baffled lovers, and to make him think —
Before she gave him time enough to wink —
Her kisses were the keys to Paradise.
Not just a treasury but a very precious little treasure too. Published in 1947, the poems may no longer be quite so modern but they are still certainly beautiful. Here is one I particularly liked …. ‘deep is the silence.’
| Moonlit Apples
At the top of the house the apples are laid in rows,
A mouse in the wainscot scratches, and scratches, and then
They are lying in rows there, under the gloomy beams;
In the corridors under there is nothing but sleep.
I love you like the promise
That only tomorrow can bring
When today has become lost,
Where yesterday means nothing.
Even if I could wrap it up,
You’d not be surprised to find
That same gift I give you every day
Beating away like a ticking bomb,
Sweet as stained-red marzipan.
There are lots of ways in which I can relate to the speaker of this poem who thinks that Courbet ‘might capture’ her. I’d like to think he’d paint me as ‘L’origine du Monde’:A scandalous gift for someone important to keep hidden behind a green curtain.
Hair still Titian,
but Botticelli’s grip has loosened—
not now Rubenesque,
and probably never;
but Courbet might capture me.
Could I be surreal?
It seems almost likely—
bells in my ears
and fortresses under;
cones have been set on my eyes.
My spring is gone
and summer’s upon me,
rude in its ripening.
I’m espaliered, strung wide and tied,
pinioned, and thus can I fly.