Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sonnet for Christmas


I saw our golden years on a black gale,
our time of love spilt in the furious dust.
'O we are winter-caught, and we must fail,'
said the dark dream, 'and time is overcast.'
-And woke into the night; but you were there,
and small as seed in the wild dark we lay.
Small as seed under the gulfs of air
is set the stubborn heart that waits for day.
I saw our love the root that holds the vine
in the enduring earth, that can reply,
'Nothing shall die unless for me it die.
Murder and hate and love alike are mine';
and therefore fear no winter and no storm
while in the knot of earth that root lies warm.

One Flesh


Lying apart now, each in a separate bed,
He with a book, keeping the light on late,
She like a girl dreaming of childhood,
All men elsewhere - it is as if they wait
Some new event: the book he holds unread,
Her eyes fixed on the shadows overhead.

Tossed up like flotsam from a former passion,
How cool they lie. They hardly ever touch,
Or if they do, it is like a confession
Of having little feeling - or too much.
Chastity faces them, a destination
For which their whole lives were a preparation.

Strangely apart, yet strangely close together,
Silence between them like a thread to hold
And not wind in. And time itself's a feather
Touching them gently. Do they know they're old,
These two who are my father and my mother
Whose fire from which I came, has now grown cold?

Kiss’d Yestreen


Kiss’d yestreen, and kiss’d yestreen,
Up the Gallowgate, down the Green:
I’ve woo’d wi’ lords, and woo’d wi’ lairds,
I’ve mool’d wi carles and mell’d wi’ cairds,
I’ve kiss’d wi’ priests— ‘twas done i’ the dark,
Twice in my gown and thrice in my sark;
But priest, nor lord, nor loon can gie
Sic kindly kisses as he gae me.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Two Truths


'Darling,' he said, 'I never meant
...To hurt you;' and his eyes were wet.
'I would not hurt you for the world:
...Am I to blame if I forget?'

'Forgive my selfish tears!' she cried,
...'Forgive! I knew that it was not
Because you meant to hurt me, sweet---
...I knew it was that you forgot!'

But all the same, deep in her heart
...Rankled this thought, and rankles yet,---
'When love is at its best, one loves
...So much that he cannot forget.'

Friday, October 8, 2010



The meadow and the mountain with desire
Gazed on each other, till a fierce unrest
Surged 'neath the meadow's seemingly calm breast,
And all the mountain's fissures ran with fire.
A mighty river rolled between them there.
What could the mountain do but gaze and burn?
What could the meadow do but look and yearn,
And gem its bosom to conceal despair?
Their seething passion agitated space,
Till lo! the lands a sudden earthquake shook,
The river fled: the meadow leaped, and took
The leaning mountain in a close embrace.