Tapped Out?

For the millionth time, today I almost slacked off. I could not see anything happening if I tried to work–my head was dull and empty. But my conscience is apparently stronger than my laziness, so I tried anyway. Results below. The main thing to know is, whether it is literature or not, it came almost straight through, in a matter of minutes. That is no indication of quality, but it is an indication that I am no judge of my own fitness to work!

My plan for now, as I have mentioned, is to keep working to maintain poetic records of something that is underway. Might not be useful to anyone, but that remains to be seen.

These two, the Lovers–now I am shaking my head. What are they up to? There are always layers of glass, ice, veils, various semi-obscuring materials, and yet nothing is really in the way. Such is the Imaginal: familiar, yet strange.

[Sorry about the formatting, especially of longer pieces. WordPress doesn’t like mine. but it’s easier to read.]

14 March 2021


Return in Spring

Nothing was there, when she picked up the panel of glass and stared through it, but suddenly–like

a pale drift of rain from a cloud lying low to the ground she could see it, the next lightning strike

that would certainly find her–the last had missed only by inches and seconds. She saw it take shape,

the cloud lying higher–and higher. Her hands were electric and humming. A wreath bound with crepe,

a note on the door warning messengers–this is the emptiest domicile now, and will be.

Sometimes I nurse the same headache all night, but it comes round again that he sent this to me,

the one who will now never, ever deliver. She puts down the panel, and sees in mid-air–

I must be the caster of shadows myself, for she’s scared half to death, yet there’s nobody there.

It rushes downhill through the long central column that bears her upright, but live lightning it’s not;

read for yourself why the literate blessing it means her burns through her on contact, so hot

flares that element meeting our common-air weather; she radiates warmth like a night-orb that glows

through the forests and storms of this dark holy night which will always surrender the ghost of its rose

to the one who first brought it and shyly bestowed it on spirits as all they stand round in a ring.

Won’t she be happy to know they still wait for her shadow to pass, as they struggle to cling

to her little grey ripple of hem as she draws it across the green lawn of the otherworld field.

My shy one, I also confess–in the night, when your eyes had been weeping, my own eyes were steeled

for the first hostile ray from the huge angry planet, the one that’s been burning your pallor away.

Walk out tonight if you dare, when the sky is as charged with high lightning as any foul day–

but tender as well, and just follow the source of the light you can bear till it shows you–no Sun;

under the light of the Moon you can see is the far stranger light of the lovelier one.

She was fearful that you’d never see what she tried so to show you; she gathered her powers, and–struck.

Only her face in the transparent glass was reflected with gardens where honeybees suck

a sticky exudate from flowers so willing, they lean on their stalks lest the bees pass them by.

What are you telling me, so humming vision, and insects that drone half-asleep as they fly?

Gather it all in an early-spring armful of very pale fragrance and very small leaves,

then share it with someone who waits in the mist for the dawn of the song nothing morbid bereaves

and nothing inhibits but seasonal changes of sky overhead as the rainy clouds clear

and she takes up a thin sheet of glass and she stares till she’s dizzy but certainly no one comes near–

till she finally opens and read it, the message he meant her to have–but she closed her eyes first.

No, he was not by her side to deliver its omens and signs, so the clouds swelled and burst–

then the spring came in earnest, with bees making music and blossoms so heavy–her heart hurts for words.

What would it matter if–petals were feathers–and struck in return?–never lightning, just birds?


About J

formal verse poetry and commentary at rainharp.com
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