‘The Story Of The Ashes And The Flame’ by Edwin Arlington Robinson

Another little treasure…

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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.

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Aloud

I like to say your name aloud.
I love the way it rolls of my tongue, 
To hear the syllables, approximant
In their approximation of my love for you.

Allowed, I would speak your name to anyone who would listen,
Releasing its long vowels and plosives
In explosive declarations of love
That would tell everyone and anyone that 
This man,
This beautiful man, 
Whose name rests impatiently on my lips, 
Is the man I love,
The man I need.
This man,
Is mine.

Aloud, I speak your name
As I walk alone in late evening sun.
I hear it, short and sweet,
Unrounded, closed,
As I disclose wildest dreams
To snag and hang on thorny hedgerows
To wave like prayer flags
For the passing birds and 
Startled fallow deer to hear.

Aloud, I speak your name to the wind,
Allow its pitch and tenor
To be swept away on the wings of warm, invisible currents
And imagine somehow, somewhere,
It will find its way back to you
So you can hear it:
My gentle voice on the breeze
Calling your name softly.

I’m Sorry Elizabeth

Sometimes you need a bit of help with the words…particularly when it’s hard to put just how you feel into words! So thank you EBB. I can only apologise for the butchery of this beautiful poem.

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How do I love you? I couldn’t count the ways.
There is no depth or breadth or height
To my love for you when out of sight,
Only being. Only grace.
I try, and fail, to love you to the level of your everyday’s
Most quiet need, from sun rise to sun spent.
I love you, not freely but, with abandonment,
Not purely, but wickedly, as I wait for your praise.
I love you with the passionate grief,
Of my childhood’s broken faith,
The more than love, I seemed to lose like belief
With my lost saints – I love you,
Not only with the breath, smiles, tears, of all my strife–
But in every silent space and, if you choose,
I shall but love you forever, beyond death, beyond life

Pulse

Pulse
Pulse
That wild staccato rhythm
Two hearts beat.
Two heart beats
Tapping out morse code messages to
…- – – …
As red hot blood courses through blue veins,
Throbs
Throbs
Unstoppable.

Waiting in the Wind

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There is no right of way across this field of dreams,
But I’ll duck beneath the barbed wire anyway,
Risk the scratches, torn skin, blood
Red and rusty
That falls like
Glossy tears of joy
From a heart too full of love,
To see if you’re still there
Waiting on that hill
Beneath clouds that scud in shimmering fear
From the fierce wind
That seems as though it could blow everything away
Except me
And
You.