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.
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.
Then there’s the other playground, hidden
from the cast of eyes, from the field of view.
Given shape of whispers, a forbidden
terrain that no survey could map as true.
Due regard, a somewhat wise precaution.
As with a grain of truth in rumour’s mill,
this place has no scale of good proportion.
All things can be ground to a common swill:
’til there’s nothing left of confidence,
just the remnants of dignity, respect,
and honour; nothing but shallow pretence,
a bastion of moral poverty … wrecked.
. Play, ground away, under spiteful attack,
. Brittle is its surface; ready to crack
To the reader: As a school principal, I watched with horror the spiteful subterranean attack of girls on each others’ friendships. Damage to dignity inflicts a cruel wound; one that festers long after its initiation. The attacks were often highly orchestrated and finely targeted at a hapless victim. The remedy was to some extent exposure but humiliation of the perpetrator was fuel to the fire. Reconciliation was the broker’s joy!
To the poet: This sonnet was constructed to highlight the fragility of a playground. Designed with a sharp tongue in mind. An outpouring of emotion, prone to pretence and posturing. A string of words nuanced with nastiness. If you’re listening carefully there’s a reference to self-pity; an obfuscation, that distracts attention from cause and effect. The mere suggestion of ill-will is an affront worthy of indignation. Words just words… I don’t think so.
One more than many. One amongst the crowd.
Of all amassed, of all assembled,
you are the one of all who’s most endowed
with the touch of difference; unresembled:
uncopied, unmatched, unequalled; unique.
You are the diamond in a crown of jewels.
You are the highest mount; a lover’s peak.
You are the exception that breaks all rules.
You are the singular presence, where dwells
perfection, where at one point all things meet.
Within you perfect love is made, where swells
affection; through your oneness all things complete.
. At one with love you have tamed love’s thunder,
. you have brought to heel cupid’s brand of wonder.
To the reader: Being the chosen one is flattering. It’s nice to be given attention; to be drawn out of the crowd as something special. But quite a perverse honour if you’re an admirer’s anonymous obsession. More so, if you are the one that through compare is beyond compare. Do you actually exist, or are you an imagined tool that consummates desire? Is the relationship unrequited? No matter, the infatuation delivers a brand of private climax. (WS – Sonnet 154)
To the poet: Depending on emphasis, the meaning of “one more lovely” is quite different to “one more lover”. And there’s the invitation to play with words. In both senses the expressions are literal but have a figurative overlay that creates room for interpretation. So “one more – than many” can be a numerical statement offering infinite potential. Or, “one – more than many” can be a flattering statement offering distinction beyond the norm. Both interpretations are at one with my “one more” intent … (TG – Sonnet 155)
Inner city vagrant, he’s in a mood;
he’s off his head on speed, and paranoid;
he’s cranky-cross and pumped with attitude;
all common courtesies are null and void.
He’s seething with anger, hate and contempt;
his agitated eyes cast a wide net;
they pierce deeply and leave no-one exempt;
all must bare the weight of his drug-fuelled threat:
“What’s your problem, you faggot, I’ll kill you!
You want to try me, and see if I won’t?”
Ignoring him makes it worse, makes him brew;
he baits your reaction, bites if you don’t.
. Nothing calms the storm of a derelict mind,
. puts the rest of us in an awkward bind!
To the reader: Sad or bad … I’m not sure the difference is of immediate concern; best not to engage in a cerebral debate. This moment is all that matters and making the most of it is best handled through instinct. Think too long, about your reaction, and he’ll interpret that as a responsive attack. This manoeuvre is all about a discrete retreat from a phoney-engagement. The contrived incident shatters; he’s gone… elsewhere bound; the summer storm has passed.
To the poet: A poem like this has to brew with foreboding. The words need to jolt and clash. It has to be an uncomfortable read. It’s an incident report. The cranky context is the third-party defined in the first two words but never again mentioned. What remains is character description. The vagrant storm explodes with verbiage and then passes with no sign of abatement; the relief is an awkward conclusion.
It’s all about connecting the connections.
It’s making sense of senses; aligning
touch to a feeling, heart with affections.
It’s the dance of life; all things combining.
It’s rhythms giving meaning to a twist.
It’s the whisper appealing to a wish.
It’s the invitation too tempting to resist.
It’s the meal shared, prepared as though a dish.
It’s all about the partnership of play,
making time to pay attention, closing
doors, opening minds, as moments melt away;
it’s harmony: love and art composing.
. The art of love is appreciation.
. The love of art is its imitation.
To the reader: Love is an artful relationship. By mutual agreement love reveals its simple beauty. Interpretation of love is a critique of responsiveness. Shakespeare’s measure was “fair, kind and true” (s105). The mutual creation of love is organic; full of context and meaning – adding pleasure to mere survival and existence. We fall in love to fully appreciate the art of life; to make life an art.
To the poet: Sometimes we write of love as a subject, about which characters and events revolve and intermingle. Other times, we write of love as an object, about which we describe its parts and possibilities. The ‘art of love and love of art’ is a neat palindromic phrase that finds itself interpreted in the final couplet of this sonnet… art for art sake, love for love sake; together bound.