Tuesday, 15 May 2012

On Man's First Sunset

                          We who have known our first love's final sigh         
                            Have felt how Adam felt, when first he saw         
                          The sun descend within earth's maiden sky:             
                            That he, in darkness, was forevermore
                          Alone and blind. Imagine then that spark:
                            That timid light! His sun, though out of view,         
                          Conspired with Time to rid the world of dark;               
                            To ambush dawn; To make the day anew!               
                          Now, Adam-like, I feel the new sun's lust.                  
                            And though that star may never grant such peace        
                          As on that virgin span, when boyish trust                  
                            Half promised that the day would never cease,           

                            We souls who know the sun may fall from sight,    
                            Shall live for day, and hope to live through night.

Monday, 19 December 2011

"I sat beneath an agéd tree"

I sat beneath an agéd tree
   Of autumn brown. Intent to muse,
And quite forget my human self;
   With shadows fuse.

Amidst the roots in sylvan weave,
   Above my head a voice was blown;
A wind-born sigh of mournful leaves
   And wooden groan.

The tree itself, with whispered sound
   Of forest deep in secret, said:
"With mobile limbs, why sit beneath
   The living dead?"

"Despite the gusts and desperate growth
   I cannot move; my roots go deep.
Cruel gods have made my waking life
   Eternal sleep."

"But you, with limbs of movement free,
   Could visit further fields than these;
And yet you sit beneath a tree
   To hear the breeze?"

For hours I listened, 'till my words
   Like vengeful light, cut through the gloam.
“I sit here, that my mind is free
   To further roam.”

“A thinking soul's imagination
   Invents more beauties than the earth
Could hold. And finds, in unseen worlds,

“Deny what atom deems as truth!
   And in the fields of Fancy's breath
Take root. To wake from life and die
   A dreamer's death!”

The ancient tree gave no reply.

His voice was taken by the wind.
   Too far away to give retort.
For dreamers' minds can distant fly
   On wings of thought.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

"Oh, to taste again the dew"

                        Oh, to taste again the dew
                        Of a romance budding new!
                        Grant me days with Fancy's daughter,
                        With her touch as fresh as water.
                        Then, to feel the fluttered start
                        Of a newly conquered heart's
                        Sanguine beats, of youth unending;
                        Falling-pace to love ascending.
                        Till, with greedy smugness, we
                        Dare to grant eternity.
                        Then complacent trust shall conquer,
                        And our hard-won love is over.

                        Love cannot survive the chase.
                        Hearts should touch, not interlace;
                        Bound, when certain futures given
                        Grant the coward soul its heaven.
                        No! Seek not your selves to meld;
                        Passion cannot breathe when held!
                        As the flowers of spring awaken,
                        Doomed to wilt if they are taken.
                        Fear that safety! Fear warm Summer!
                        Let the dreams of March outshine her!
                        Till the cooling clouds shall cover,
                        And our hard-won love is over.

                        Romance; let her wings unfurl!
                        Into daily motions hurl
                        Reckless hopes, in free elation,
                        Rid of comfort's suffocation.
                        Do not let your touches cling;
                        Passion is a passing thing.
                        Nymph-like, it is never caught,
                        Swayed or bargained, stole or bought.
                        Love cannot survive embrace!
                        Savour Beauty, soon her face,
                        Once star-like, shall supernova,
                        And your hard-won love is over.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

A Sonnet on the Eiffel Tower

        Oh, lonely tower! Lord of Paris fair!
        Foreboding hulk, whose empty iron-frame
        Is filled with beauty, though its bones are bare;
        And ugly, yet deserving of its fame.
        You are a poet! When you lend your view
        To those street-wand'ring souls who climb your stair;
        Who see their daily world forever new,
        And breathe at last the height-impassioned air!
        You know a poet's beauty is not found
        In his own form, but by that structured art,
        Designed to lift the people from the ground,
        Yet cursed to stand, with distant gaze, apart.

          You have a poet's vantage of retreat;
          But, poet-like, you cannot walk the street.

Monday, 4 July 2011

On the Irony of Patriotism

        “True Patriots, pray look upon this sty,
        These modern brutes who tarnish Britain's name;
        The proudest men who cause the greatest shame.
        No voices tell her beauties, save the sigh
        Of those who know her ancient blood runs dry.
        Great poems, prose and theses lose acclaim.
        What stirs these souls? Not deeds of worthy fame,
        But flags held high, as swords to pierce our sky.
        What country do they boast of? And what good
        Is pride? Their empty praises pound in waves,
        Wearing the slate of noble English graves!
        Such Lords of art once lived, and name this nation
        Great still! To think their hearts held British blood;
        Long years before this paltry generation”

Saturday, 17 April 2010

The Vigil Candle

Dedicated to Raymond Frederick Bird 

Lines written as I watched the candle we lit after my father's death, at the same time as the Easter Vigil candle burnt.

              His candle breathes a soft demise
                 And we remember,
              With rich reflected bright in eyes;
                 Tears without number.

              And streams of pallid white shall run
                 Where fire has fed,
              Each flicker beats for hearts undone,
                 And Father dead.

              I saw his chord was running low,
                 The wax was waning;
              Alike to breath becomming slow,
                 And time complaining.

              But Mother brought a newer stick.
                 Her love eternal;
              And shared his spark; from living wick
                 Bore love paternal.

              Light ended: wax grew cold bereft,
                 But fire still shone;
              Amidst the grief of children left
                 His flame lives on.

              Our decades shall be blessed, well warmed,
                 With light begotten,
              When wicks once met a gift was formed
                 And not forgotten.

              Rich years will once again make whole
                 These tender hours;
              Our minds regain the love death stole,
                 Reclaim our powers.
              But we shall not forget the soul
                 Whose fire lit ours.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Upon Meeting the Eyes of a Stranger

One moment made eternal, for this glance
Could stir an ageless longing in our hearts.
Or risk rejection not, the hour departs,
Never to host again impatient chance?
Whether we sail the seas of high romance
Or loneliness: our confidence shall chart
The future of our souls past this fair start.
We lead the hand of destiny in dance
And dare! The sweetest fates are theirs who dare;
And misery is theirs who think divine
The fatuous coldness of the stars above,
Resigned to idle fortune most unfair!

For this, I brave our yet unheld entwine.
             To grasp this hope, my life, this chance to love.