I am nothing but myself without you.
You are the key to every lock I own.
To say you are my everything is true.
Without you I am never more alone.
You are my Spring, you are my Autumn-flush.
Without you I’m a Winter-plot unkempt.
You are my Summer – every flower’s blush.
Without you I’m a year that wasn’t dreamt.
You are my awakening; my morning would
be nothing but the softest dew at dawn.
You are my sketch, that pictures me as good.
Without you I’m an image never drawn.
. You are the life in every day I live
. You are the gift in every thing I give.
To the reader: Love is an ingredient that confirms completeness, enriches purpose and satisfies our intimate desires. We nurture partnerships through love’s tenderness; it’s love that cares about a broken heart, it’s love that freshens an exhausted soul, it’s love that brings joy to adult affairs. Love’s generous abundance is in endless reserve; love replenishes love; love’s gift is love.
To the poet: The first quatrain is tentative, the second a bit soppy; and the third, hopeful of a climax. The final couplet provides the post-literal summary. When ‘love’ becomes an object of attention it resists exposure; love is shy and reserved in nature. Love is rarely captured without damage. Like a butterfly… most beautiful in flight.
Containment lines are none the worse for wear.
Tide has turned and she was not washed to sea.
Save for watermarks, she’s all in good repair.
With the swell came contentment’s remedy.
At tide’s turning the surge has been subdued.
The rhythmic waves have left her satisfied.
Diminishing ripples resolve her mood.
She savours the last splash while things subside.
There’ll be no rush of outward-tide; no haste.
Embraced in slow-resolve, just as supposed.
She awaits her resolution; slow-paced.
She is reassembled; again composed.
. As would appear, her pleasures come in waves;
. for every pleasure spent, so too she saves.
To the reader: Mostly, her interests are absorbed by daily routine. The satisfaction of orderly progression keeps her occupied; and on the whole content. Once in a while, when momentum allows, she stops to pause; to recalibrate her sense of self. She loosens the fabric of her day. The touch of reconnection is slow and satisfying; emptiness is resolved.
To the poet: Of two minds, I was watching a small row-boat tugging on its rope by the shore; a ripple of waves repeatedly lapped at its sides. Short of giggling, the nicely-shaped boat did what it could to hold its dignity but every now and again, in shear delight, it shuddered with relief as the rhythm of waves washed away it tension. Art is a beautiful thing.
You are the keeper of a chrysalis.
The holder of a butterfly in wait.
Do you appreciate her emphasis;
sensitivities; condition of her state?
Are you in touch with her proclivities?
Are you conscious of her fluttering?
Do you attend to her necessities?
And, will you offer her your nurturing?
You are the hand-maiden, the Monarch’s nurse,
her companion; attentively involved:
as she ponders… as opener of her purse.
as she shudders… as closure is resolved.
. You are the hand-maiden, the Monarch’s nurse;
. holder of pleasures, and opener of purse.
To the reader: Butterflies are beautiful insects. Through stages they reach a climax of interest and intensity. The chrysalis represents a middle-stage of development when the caterpillar has pupated into a protective tissue awaiting release into its adult form. The natural wonder of an opening cocoon represents an exposed stage of life; sensitive and vulnerable. With patience and nature’s encouragement the butterfly emerges; and so completes its resolution.
To the poet: Metamorphosis. Between two stages, the chrysalis assumes a vulnerable condition; a position of suggestive anticipation. And that’s the art of poetry. Between two ideas there’s room for emergent play. Words, by association, influence interpretation; and so, meaning is subtlely adjusted. The level of cryptic subterfuge is a matter of choice; too subtle and the game is lost.
In pursuit of perfection’s guarantee
we chase that which is better than the best.
Nothing could not “ten times the better be”
as steadied, then readied, for Time’s cruel test.
All the world’s treasuries do not stand still;
those with gold glint, with crystals shimmer.
Those animated vaults of potential
are the genesis of hopeful glimmer.
Flushed with abundance, they lack not any
of the comforts that come with fortune’s care.
That which is ‘one’ finds itself with ‘many’
and so on, ten times, produces an heir.
. Ten times the merrier, ten times the wealth.
. Ten times the better, through sickness and health.
To the reader: The idea of abundance sounds agrarian to an urban ear. As a man of his time, Shakespeare was an advocate of reap and harvest, stack and store; his reference was a time of uncertainty. Ten times the better be… seems his ideal solution to a number of problems. The simple model derives sufficient resources from a stash of plenty. It’s about making the most of what’s available, to ensure today’s waste or laziness is not tomorrow’s sorrowful regret.
To the poet: In a few of Shakespeare’s sonnets he refers to ‘ten’ as a number of good use and satisfaction. Ten times the better be for all manner of circumstances; from procreation (WS-S6) to imagination (WS-S38) for happiness (WS-S37) and amusement. And so began my sonnet (TG-S217)) about over-reaching for the sake of abundance; ever the need for surplus … just in case.
From love, love borrows that which love has lent.
When love says: “I love you” love says the same.
And so love is a circular argument.
It’s a roundabout affair; claim for claim.
“Good night” love says, the same is love’s reply.
“Sweet dreams” love says, anointed with a kiss.
“Sleep tight” love says, so starts a lullaby.
When love says “I’m here” there’s nothing amiss;
Love’s partner is love, together complete.
It’s through confirmation that love endures.
“I love you” said once, deserves repeat.
“I love you” and “I love you” reassures.
. Upon love’s roundabout, spins love’s intent,
. With each return, there rides love’s sentiment.
To the reader: The structure of the heart has it working two-parts as one. The circulation of a life-force makes it the ideal metaphor for ‘love-central’. With responsive rhythm, the heart renews and refreshes. It’s no coincidence then, that living and loving are such united motivations. Together they fulfil our physical and emotional needs; one fuels, the other fires.
To the poet: Sentiment is an ink that never fully dries. Its wet nature bleeds and smudges at the slightest touch. To control the flow of sentiment takes the skill of a water-colourist. The risk of over-working is ever-present; accident and incident are heavy handed partners. Sentiment is a translucent medium that washes over page and canvas with diffusive effect; a touch too much and recognition is lost.
To the reader: The soft-counselling of a friend provides a safe place for disappointment and sadness to speak its voice. In the resolution of loss or grief there are moments when wise-words are best left unspoken. In these moments, the broken-hearted and the grief-stricken seek nothing more than reassurance. Their healing process begins with the confirmation of a companion that cares enough to listen. In time, the spoken response will be appropriate… save that for later.
To the poet: “Should they be blurred to favour tolerance?” Between writing and interpreting this line of thought, I think I’ve softened the tension between tolerance and suspended judgement. The need for restraint in criticism has been replaced with a more general statement on responsive listening. I’ve not really answered the question: “How much lee-way does intolerance deserve?”