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.
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?”
All days the same, patterned on each other;
templates, just repeated in shape and size.
How to make a difference; one from t’other?
Make love to the morning, feel her surprise.
Love’s rhythm is what sets two days apart.
Begins the flow of motion that prepares
your mind for nuance; gives the day fresh start.
When borne of love, no other compares…
for sameness is overcome. With love’s touch
the subtlety of difference is revealed,
feelings are massaged, caressed, and as such
become a new day; fresh as a green field.
. No two kisses need ever be the same,
. with love’s rebirth, each day takes a new frame.
To the reader: Love is a refreshing agent. Its confirmation reassures and resets relationships. The natural flow of day and night cycles through the rhythm of life and love responds in kind. We are bound to love’s attraction; drawn to its affection; captured by its charm; and seduced by its sensitivity. Those delicious endorphins have us craving a new day’s kiss.
To the poet: A poem about sex doesn’t need to be lewd, crude or rude. The power of suggestion is all that’s required. As with all good art, a good poem needs to leave room for interpretation. To leave no room for suggestive imagination would mark the erotic intent as nothing more than pornographic titillation. By the splendours of a new day sameness is overcome.
Friends, not lovers, protect us from ourselves.
They can hold us steady, disentangle
emotional strings, retrieve he who delves
too deep; ungrip the hand that would strangle
from life all good reason to continue
the good fight (for a good cause warranted).
Such is the good friend, with every sinew,
a good connection, a well-cemented
source of truth; a solid anchor of sorts,
a fixed point of reference, not to be moved
by whim or fancy (such as love contorts);
so admired, esteemed, and much approved.
. Such is the friend who through life endures,
. promises nothing …. simply reassures.
To the reader: Love, besotted love, is emotionally vulnerable. Through devotion, tender love is unable to detach itself from heartfelt entanglements. The bond of friendship, however, has commitment without the surrender of proximity. Through distance a friend maintains objectivity; sometimes critical in the heat of emotional turmoil. The lover will tend to move towards the fire; the friend one-step back. A lover will sacrifice; a friend will rescue.
To the poet: The continuity of rhythm and meter delivers flow; but, the principles of design apply to poetry … too much of a good thing detracts from character and diminishes interest. The deliberate disturbance of flow is part of a writer’s craft. Displacement is an effective ploy in attracting attention; but overplayed the strategy loses impact – predictability is the pitfall.