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.
A thoughtful pose has contemplative poise;
its purpose is more poignant than profound.
In posture it’s positioned and so deploys
a line of thought before it breaks new ground.
It’s a ponderous thought without anchor;
not hooked to certainty, not chained to proof,
not pitched to ruffle, or raised to ranker;
as ever prudent it remains aloof.
To some extent it loiters with intent;
seeking permission before intrusion.
Along with due regard it’s time well spent:
‘Blessed is the thought without conclusion’
. Contemplation … preserves the pragmatic.
. Reservation … rescues the erratic..
To the reader: Avoiding the arrogance of certainty requires reservation. For those endowed with high-powered intellects, and an impulsive nature, being thoughtful is a challenge. Their ability to be cautious in conclusion is often over-ridden by a narrow spark of brilliance that out-shines the soft-light of wisdom. Because they thrive on instancy they contrive urgent environments that demand quick solutions … but what of the question that has no answer?
To the poet: … blessed is the thought without conclusion. To pause in a suspended state of wonder feeds imagination, fuels curiosity, opens the mind to a range of possibilities. My poetry is like that… the rules of sonnet writing conveniently slow down the thought process to a mindful state of awareness. In my opinion, being a meditative amusement, the sonnet is best cooked slowly. There are other forms of poetry that celebrate spontaneity; to them I tip my hat.
Early in debate, two sharp points were made.
Succinct as a dagger’s thrust; both cut deep.
To be driven home, each decisive blade
was further twisted; blood and guts did seep.
The angles of intrusion were acute;
on passage, both knives parted flesh from bone,
lanced the stomach, and punctured lungs on route.
They came to rest, rigid as steel in stone.
As life bled from the wounds (of both soon dead)
those in witness stopped in forensic pause;
thought upon the motive and so agreed:
“Death came to pass upon a common cause.”
. For those who debate, agreement is death;
. a sign of weakness … such a waste of breath.
To the reader: I worked in an office where heated debate would often culminate in furious agreement. Two staff-members with fiery temperaments would constantly joust and parry over common ground. For all in witness, it would have been far better these two pedants had opposing views of worthy substance. Alas, and instead, the two argued over detail and finally arrived at a consensus; long-since agreed by all else half-concerned by the menial matter.
To the poet: “What of two minds that claim a single thought?” The two subjects of this poem are in dispute; literally. Are they the two sharp points, are they the two daggers; then again, are they the two adversaries? That subjective confusion is deliberate in construing an investigative pastiche; a crime scene of sorts. As required of this genre, a confused subject needs a vague objective; and so the plot thickens. What’s the remedy? A strong couplet that solves the riddle.
To this point, there’s a statement of intent:
the sending of a message; the promise
to commit; it’s this sets the precedent,
this then becomes the line of sight, from this
all else is judged upon delivery.
Against what’s known, what’s been, new things are judged:
held account; tested for transparency;
valued for clarity … dismissed if smudged.
The purity of truth is honesty:
revered as the path to enlightenment;
it’s the well-spring of possibility;
a straight approach without impedement.
. For those who are driven by conviction,
. be not distracted by contradiction.
To the reader: Up to a point, most of us can hold opposing points of view without losing face or sleep. The internal debate over right and wrong, good and bad is instructive. Occasionally, gaps widen and curious differences become stark and polarised. Through choice, we abandon one idea for another and our personal conflict is resolved. Through good government, mature societies can do the same: we live with contradiction but not hipocracy.
To the poet: “Is the line concise on contradiction?” Unpacking, then reassembling a ten-syllable sequence created for poetic effect is a bit of a stretch; for reader and poet. On the way to a logical conclusion there are many distracting alternatives; rhyme being the most significant. As one rhyme demands another the margin of error widens and the meaningful target becomes less and less a possibility. You can feel it happening… but like bike and tree there’s a fatal attraction to disaster!
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?”
By way of dust and ashes we are linked
to common threads: strung to a string of time;
individually knotted, distinct
in our difference. Be it lemon or lime,
we are spliced to a single stock; rooted
in the same soil; given source to nourish;
encouraged to grow as would be suited
to meet our own needs; and thereby, flourish
into form, complete with name and feature:
detailed with nuance, character and style,
labelled as ‘self’ from a common creature.
. Thus, we are universally designed,
. and yet, so individually defined.
To the reader: As crowds assemble, individual features are swallowed by a depth of field that intuitively responds to changes of light and aperture. As eyes adjust to new interests, peripheral surroundings are rendered as a common blur. It takes just the slightest shift of focus to re-engage with diffused details; to bring them to the fore as new impressions; key-frames that describe “my” experience of a common event.
To the poet: “What about the drawing of distinctions?” A long thread of thoughts; heavily punctuated with sign-posts and guide-rails separating one thing from another. At various turning points the poem poses two similar characteristics and through nuance attributes to them a difference of sorts: dust and ashes, lemon or lime, name and feature, character and style. Not that similar, not that different, separated then by distinction.