Sonnet: The Death Knell of Love

the-murderess-1906

Dreams when you sleep – nightmares when you rise –

A solar shadow casting out a shadow of sun;

Clouds are in the earth – not in the skies –

And pain is wrapped up in a ribbon of fun

That unravels, unrolls, purls and flows out,

Like a river of ruin, chirping with disaster,

Peeling the lips off of every smiling mouth,

And hacking at the legs that would try to run faster,

To escape, to reach – to embrace happiness,

Before that unhappy candle is snuffed into dark,

And the melody you believed assured you tenderness,

Reaches your ears as a coarse, ugly bark;

The scream of the banshee – the duellist’s lost glove –

Hollowness without comfort – the death knell of love

 

 

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Love Sonnets 6 and 7

troubadour

VI.

How could I ever be worthy of you,

When you are a goddess – and I – but a man?

When you are braided with beauty through,

And I am crushed in ugliness’s hands?

Every day I strive to improve myself,

Assaying to inspire your affection,

A thankless task when you’re only wealth,

Is never-ending dereliction,

But, inch by inch – degree by degree,

I feel your esteem begin to bloom,

As you perceive the sanctity

Of my intentions – and thus make room

For this troubadour in your heavenly arms

Where the weapons of sadness are soon disarmed

VII.

Before the crowd has finished cheering –

The room still enveloped in applause –

I can barely suppress the waiting tears,

Imprisoned behind my soul’s soft doors,

Though assailed with fervent admiration –

A trifling tart who seldom stays –

I would bear all scorn and denigration,

To be the recipient of your tender praise;

A fruit plucked fresh from honeyed lips;

A sweetness that makes all else taste sour,

Especially when formed in the shape of a kiss;

Which, were you to give me one every hour,

The tension of counting the seconds between,

Would make this passion-pent poet eagerly scream

Love Sonnets – 3, 4, and 5

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III.

When I cannot sleep, for visions of you,

Meander like movies in my mind’s eye,

Admixing the truest with the untrue,

The wounded and flightless with that which can fly,

I do not intenerate these thoughts chaotic,

But reverence the vigour of their violence,

The interplay of feelings, both fair and despotic,

With spells of rage, and storms of silence,

I’d rather be cursed with love-sickened madness,

Then blessed with anaesthetic tranquillity,

The former can foster the goodness of genius,

The latter – only seductive senility!

Love is a blessing that drives us insane –

A gift of compassion – a palace of pain.

IV.

And in that palace of pain, I have long been tenant,

Scrubbings the floors, and painting the walls,

With my very own blood as sanguine penance,

For any pains I have previously caused,

For, in love, I have been guilty as any,

Of the vagaries and vacillations of intent,

My merits few – my mistakes – many,

Though my crimes of the heart were often well-meant,

Still, I would rather reside in this palace of laments,

Than in the narrow alley of self-obsession,

Love highlights our mistakes, and calls out, “repent!”

Breaking the bonds of our self-definition,

Enlightening our hearts – infinite – eternal –

Wedding the celestial with the infernal.

V.

I do often wish you’d not be so cruel,

But throw more cuts of compassion my way,

Not just glut me on grief and gruel –

The crumbs and crusts of your lover’s buffet,

Won’t you allow me to enter the gates of your heart;

To lay on the bed made for us there –

Instead of being kept cold in your cold courtyard,

Deserted by Hope, and racked by Despair?

But, Hope has driven me insistently on,

Refusing me refuge or peaceful surrender,

An eternal passion that will not be gone,

Whether jubilant June or darkest December,

And as love like this never abates –

I’ll maintain my vigil without your wavering gates

 

Poem: Two Love Sonnets

medieval

I.

If I hand you a chalice,

Will you drink of the wine pressed fresh from my heart?

A vintage free from taint or malice,

Though victim of Sadness’s envenomed dart,

Drink it up, my love, until exquisite inebriation,

Drives all coldness from your limbs,

And ignites the fires of your imagination,

Ensuring the prosperity of your most passionate whims!

Let me dapple your neck with crimson kisses,

So that your snowy skin may sip of the wine,

That inflames my days with unfulfilled blisses,

That I pray – I implore – will make you mine!

And as the liquor of my love pulses quick through your veins,

I know that, from my thoughts, you can ne’er be estranged.

 

II.

My days are enriched with the paint of your palette,

That enrobes me with colours too vivid to bear,

Let me tend to your wishes like a well-trained valet,

Whose only salary is the want of touching your hair,

Unwitting, you keep me slave to your spell,

That addicts me to the promise of your absent perfume,

Drawn secret from Aphrodite’s love-philtre well,

Infused with the mead and the milk of the moon,

My nights are spent on a hot-bed of yearning,

Yoking my dreams to an envisioned paradise,

Found in a topography, ancient men of learning,

Claim can only be sought in the expanse of your eyes,

So, I look into those orbs, and stare and I stare,

At the rapture unbounded I see awaiting me there.