What on the surface moves with measured pace,
Below doth run, inspiring heart to leap,
With seeming reserve and seemly manner’d grace,
Doth tremble as a quiet secret keep.
There sparks a tender flame in hidden lamp,
Which shows, once lit, a long and unknown road,
Upon the which two souls may meet and camp,
Of sweetest journey thus companion’d bode.
How easily doth heart, surprisèd, long
For gentle passions, and a richer realm
Where, ruled by laughter, joy and joinèd song,
These two may meet and romance overwhelm;
And I, surpris’d by lover’s siren call,
Do comfortably on this love now fall.
As sleep doth steal o’er thy beloved brow,
As Vespers chime across the steeple tower,
And peaceful rests the restless city now,
I lie awake and, watchful for this hour,
Do gently measure breath for breath and gaze
Through shadow’d dusk upon more shadows there,
And though full dark, the peaceful night ablaze
With silent shout, impassion’d tender care.
Then breathes the shadow with the merest sigh,
And slowly opens sleepy single eye,
“goodnight, my love,” it whispers with a kiss,
To close again, but leaving quiet bliss,
And shadowed hand with shadowed hand now blest,
Two loving hearts sink into loving rest.
In solitude solace, in stillness, content;
The peaceful day with no outcry rent;
For drama the stage, for revels torment;
Comes quiet of night, the day’s motion now spent.
The single note its own company keep,
The plainchant inspiring the prayerful deep,
Or mournful resonance sudden to weep,
The sweet-throated lullaby leading to sleep.
Then quietly stealing its way to the ear
Comes harmony, delicate, lovely to hear,
Its presence enigma until it draws near,
Encircling, ennobling, bestowing new cheer.
Two voices soon raised, to the rafters they ring,
Now major, now minor, to heaven now sing,
As one voice the two to each other now cling,
Diverge for a while and then consonance bring.
Thus do you give to my soul new delight,
Our voices now mingling in harmony bright;
As music does love catch when timing is right,
Sweet friend new-companion’d, my heart set alight.
Lord, who am I?
When I was a child, my heart burst with love;
Arms open to everyone,
I loved generously, without judgement, without reserve.
Over the years, that love was bruised,
Battered, beaten into hiding.
The love I gave, only wishing for such love in return,
Was rebuffed, refused, ridiculed,
Or worse, used against me.
I learned to love in secret, the love I felt aching within my soul.
It struggled and withered, longing for a worthy heart
To love it in the same measure.
Do I love too much?
I do know that such love can be a fearsome thing,
Overwhelming those it touches.
So I narrowed its focus, saving it for fiction,
Loving mythical heroes,
only the stage or my dreams large enough for such love as I felt.
I lost sight of myself.
But still my heart bursts with love!
And here at last is someone who reads my poems, hears my songs…
…Shares my dreams?…
He speaks of romance, of affection and respect.
Ah, but is his heart strong enough,
His soul anchored firmly enough to withstand the tempest?
I am great and terrible, damaged and whole,
Generous and selfish, scarred, yet full of life.
Can he accept what I offer, all this love crying to be free,
who I am, all that I am?
Lord, I know who I am.
When in spring-time all the world awake
From slumber heavy, shedding winter’s cloak,
And new-bloom’d finery all the flowers make,
With faerie-dust the fiery sunsets stroke,
Breathless, restless, wander I the hills,
As melts my once-cold heart in sudden thaw,
Laughing with the sparrow’s frantic trills,
Flooding senses with each breath I draw.
I find myself alone upon a rise
Watching west as darkness inward press,
The evening cool’d as lightning part the skies,
The heart of nature thund’ring heaven bless.
Then comes the rain, its tears upon my face
Of joy and sorrow mingling in this place.
Love it is makes heroes out of men,
And love return’d becomes its own reward,
From heart to treasur’d heart its treasure lend
Such gold a thousand times from trove unbarr’d.
Fie, gold!, such love is like the very air:
To love is to inspire, and thus to live;
And yet, breathe out too much and nothing there,
Expire, for no air life cannot long forgive.
Thus, my dear, did I my love breathe out,
In one unguarded moment share with you
And passion’s flame too soon, too soon blow out,
And wait for love to breathe on me anew.
For loving air my failing breath doth yearn,
For of restraint my heart will never learn.
My heart beats in my breast and bursting, cries,
Each breath I take trails fire along my skin.
Your face before me when I close my eyes,
Your touch imagin’d, conjur’d from within,
My senses all awaken’d, now aflame,
And straining forward, ‘cross the distance call,
Alive with passion, whispering your name,
All reason gone, into your spell I fall.
Now thus invok’d, such magic do I feel
That music to my lips unbidden fly
And sing until you stand before me, real,
Inhabited by love’s eternal cry.
Affection, passion and desire now blend
With love and strength, a restless soul to mend.