What is Love: sestina

Is love a thing that lasts, or a mere trinket,
a toy that fascinates until it bores,
a passing fancy, or eternal compact
between two souls and never any more,
a gift from gods above, or social stricture
meant as a mere distraction for the mind?

If only short-term passion or mere pastime,
who was the first poor fool to ever think it?
Imagine, if you can, that sadist’s picture
of all the violence that love held in store.
It’s hard to even fathom a much more
effective way to stymie human contact.

And what divine creator is so lacking
compassion for their children, all mankind,
that our connecting is a frightening chore,
as fragile as a momentary blink?
Who would believe in such gods any more,
that leaven pain in such a heavy mixture?

And yet, if love is an eternal fixture,
there seems about it a confounding lack
of solid substance built in at its core;
it takes so long for even two to find,
yet needs so little work and time to sink it.
How could it last beyond a day or more?

It seems so ill-equipped for what’s in store:
a world that frowns on any cheerful picture,
that trades not in eternity, but trinkets
designed never to bind, but just attract.
Thus all the poets say that love is blind;
what difference, when our eyesight proves so poor?

Does love last once it’s left the showroom floor,
or does it leave its victims far from shore,
where stripped of all illusion, each one finds
what they imagined was a solid mixture
begins to crumble into dust and crack,
and leave them on a sea with naught to drink?

No, love is more than either of these pictures;
you neither score, nor spend time keeping track.
You find eternity in every moment’s wink.

26 MAY 2017

On the Veranda: serenade

As the evening enters like a dancer from the wings,
and we turn our backs on busy days and other things,
listen as the dull roar of the world begins to fade
in a gentle twilight serenade…

A sliver of a moon begins its shining,
shy behind some wisps of clouds, it’s pining
as a summer breeze begins to blow
out on the veranda, soft and slow

In the fading light your shadow lingers:
there along the edges of your fingers,
touching on your face, it leaves a glow;
like a candle’s flicker, to and fro.

We could dance forever in the moonlight,
you and I together, hand in hand.
Nothing else will matter to us, tonight,
when we meet in our enchanted land.

A symphony of constant, chirping crickets;
we stand in the moonlight, with no tickets,
as a purple cloud crosses the moon.
Don’t let the performance end too soon!

Far from the city’s constant hum and ringing,
up in that tree, a nightingale is singing
as we share this moment in the dark
from our little corner of the park.

25 MAY 2017

Heart of Mine: Qasida

Love, how sweet and how sublime
your song fills this heart of mine
with nourishment that seems divine,
suited for this heart of mine.

So I start a troubled climb
that may strain this heart of mine,
up the mountainside to find
who sings to this heart of mine.

‘Cross the crags and sharp incline,
echoes fill this heart of mine.
Love stays hidden, with no sign,
taunting this poor heart of mine.

Love, I seek you, though half blind,
trusting in this heart of mine –
for your song warms me like wine,
gives life to this heart of mine.

13 APR 2017

I Thought I Knew: madrigal

I thought I knew, but knew nothing of love
before your true love grew to fill my heart;
and now there is no other that compares.

How small and turned within my life was then,
so crowded and content with fickle faire.
   I thought I knew, but knew nothing of love
   before your true love grew to fill my heart.

Without a chance of happiness, I lived,
perhaps, but living just a shadow’s share.
   I thought I knew, but knew nothing of love
   before your true love grew to fill my heart;
   and now there is no other that compares.

5 APR 2017

What is Beauty: cancione

So what is beauty, really?
As a requisite to love
it seems far too subjective,
just some desire’s beguiling
design to snare a victim.

So what is beauty, really?
A figment caught by the eye
(or nature-made to seem thus)
to overwhelm reason’s care,
let loose the reins and run wild?

So what is beauty, really?
One sad half discovers whole,
making the universe sing
a melody so haunting
its croaking voice sounds lilting.

So what is beauty, really?
The eye knows only deceit;
the ear, a fading echo;
the mind, pale comparison;
the heart, hopeful delusion.

So what is beauty, really?
A single moment’s passing,
that folds future and present
up into both shroud and veil
for wedding, and funeral.

So what is beauty, really?
The weak, finite majesty
of illusion stitched in time,
the knowing of unknowing
that is a thing in itself.

27 JAN 2017

At Dawn: alba or aubade

At dawn
the mist still lingers on the lawn:
the shortening shade, like Avalon,
seeks wisps of cloud to linger on
but soon surrenders, and is gone.

At dawn
the world, by inches, cracks its eyes:
and in the place of lullabies
begins to sound the hue and cry,
its hustle-bustle of disguise.

At dawn
the sweet and tender touch of light
begins the slow ascent of sight
and sends to shadows, warm and bright,
the last reminders of the night.

At dawn
again, I hear the sigh
of breathing, gentle and nearby,
and thank the earth and sea and sky
for life and love and you and I.

05 JAN 2017

Let the Cold Wind Blow

Let the cold wind blow,
let the weak spots show,
let the gray hair go
’til it’s there no more.

Let the days roll by,
let the hours fly,
let ’em say goodbye
’til it’s you and I.

There’s just no reason
that I can find
to leave a bit of
this life behind.

Let the loose lips slip,
let the hipsters hip,
let the sinking ship
take a long, cool dip.

Let the world roll on,
let the foolish fawn
let both king and pawn
fade until they’re gone.

There’s just no point
that I can see
to let it bother
you and me.

Let the raindrops fall,
let the time just crawl,
let the engine stall
somewhere in the hall.

Let the earth just spin,
let them all back in,
let both thick and thin
come around again.

There’s just no reason
that I can find
to ever have you
off my mind.

15 JAN 2015