The Bereaved Lover

Bereaved

Bereaved, he dreamed beside the quiet creek

The gentle boy who loved, of love he missed,

Lamenting still, alone, and yet to speak.

 

Her form appeared upon the waters, meek,

And as it to be fantasy he wist,

Bereaved, he dreamed beside the quiet creek.

 

Surveying her placid eyes, with spirit weak,

While his grew lucid as he reminisced,

Lamenting still, alone, and yet to speak,

 

In such a state I saw him, with moistened cheek,

As he recalled when first her cheek he kissed,

Bereaved, he dreamed beside the quiet creek.

 

Then all of the soft and shaded heavens did seek

His visage to veil from view with sorrow’s bliss,

Lamenting still, alone, and yet to speak.

 

At this he thought his lot to be less bleak

If rain would weep with him, his sorrows list—

Bereaved, he dreamed beside the quiet creek,

Lamenting still alone, and yet to speak.

To Solitude

a satirical and cynical sonnet

 

I may not know if Love may lead to madness,

For he who madness bears is ignorant

Of if he thinks in sanity and soundness

Or maddened thoughts in this deceive him verdant.

 

I may not validate th’ verisimilitude

Of this common claim to Love’s duplicity

For I stand a subjugated subject to Solitude,

In Love with oneness, unknowing th’ veracity.

 

Perhaps I may be mad to say I’m mad

Or mad to be in love with Loneliness;

Perhaps it’s Love himself that drives me mad

Or merely Solitude too much for wits.

 

I cannot say if love to madness moves;

I only know that madness leads to love.

My Dear Boy

my dear boy

My dear boy,

Beware of man, beware his company,

O mark me well, mark him an enemy.

Beware the world, beware of living life,

Beware of sorrows, beware of pains and strife,

Beware of toils, those burdens from above,

But most of all, my boy, beware of Love.

Aye Love ‘s a tumultuous sea, where waves do crash,

And men are tossed at passion’s volition rash;

You need it not my child, so set not sail,

For treasure hunts at sea are doomed to fail.

This erratic pirate’s epic bears not aught

That is not also born in books and thought.

When I was young I feared I’d die alone,

Without a friend, or wife, in pain I’d moan,

As lying on my bed for one I’d part,

My stiff veins would break the rhythm of my heart.

There was a time I feared that future fate

When I were old and died in such a state

As common men will never come to know,

For only sages understand the woe.

But now those fears are parted with the pain,

And no such lonely worries here remain,

For I shall nevermore as lonely be

When now these fantastical voices are so saying “come live with me”.

You mustn’t understand me wrong my boy,

I haven’t lost my wits but found my joy;

My sense is as Hamlet and Don Quijote vital

Their minds and mine as sure as Dido’s requital.

I’ve simply found the thrill of the theoretical

(And you mustn’t either think this life pathetical)

To be more than enough to keep me company.

Of living friends and foes I need not any

When philosophers and poets assuage my fears—

Those dead men’s voices occupy my ears.

So now I have a fear of death no more,

Having seen so many make the trip before—

Aneas, Dante, plus Odysseus

Shall be with me as I go down to dis,

Nor have I living yet a fear of age

When Beowulf’s poet’s years serve as my gauge.

Philosophy shall be my Juliet,

And poetry for love the stage will set;

Romantic verse will make the story heard

Of a love affair with knowledge and thoughts and words.

O come, my boy, and heed what I have learned,

Most well to mark the wisdom I have earned,

My books have taught me everything I know,

And now the seed of it I hereby sow:

I’ th’ dark and hostile world he needs not a friend

Who has the company of words immortal penned—

A man is a wretched, reckless, ruthless beast

He’s better left alone—ignored at the least,

Better shunned, forgotten from the start,

For friends and loves as tides are sure to part,

But books and words will never break a heart.

My own, truly,

No One

The Swan

There is a bird at Francis Pond,

A somber sacred swan;

She calls unheard, while none respond

Till present cries are gone.

 

I saw her ‘cross the ripples swim

A dreary distance off;

Beside yon mossy arboreal limb

She bows her crest to trough.

 

With gentle meme she has her fill

And finishes her drink,

Then with demeanor gentler still

She lifts her head to think.

 

I wonder what she contemplates

So pensive and so wise—

What burdens must attenuate

Her poise to troubled guise?

 

In a manner less decorous,

Less schooled than that of she,

In a stumbled mess I approached with a fuss

To ask of what I did see.

 

“Kind madam,” said I, “please do tell,

This hazy day, your thoughts;

For if I’ve read your count’nance well,

Your mind ‘s with worries wrought.

 

“What grievances could come to trouble

This sort of placid creature

Whose waters less than she do trouble

With mildness of feature?”

 

At that she turned her gaze toward me,

And peered through her dark eye-mask,

And with a learned decorum did flee

To heaven’s heights at last.

Two Solitary Epistles

To my excessively credulous and quixotic friend,

Heed not

The words of men

When they’re begot

By tongue or pen

In the company of others

For their sisters, friends, and brothers.

Man plays

The part of man

When spending days

With specious fans

Who will cheer his charlatan affectation

But he bears not the part in isolation.

Sincerely,

Solitude

***

To my slightly sillily cynical sister, Solitude,

I will follow your counsel fanatically

And list your words—as is my way—romantically,

So thus I heed them not—the sons of a pen—

But leave their fruit rot, as you demand, kind friend.

Love,

Love