Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Two Poetic Offerings

Two poem drafts. The first is an older one, which borrows a great deal from the Song of Songs. I might have been reading Gerard Manley Hopkins when I wrote it.

Two Lovers

Your eyes are dove's eyes,
flicker-wing rolling dewy day,
light cast out, spark overleaping,
ruminant rivers babbling softly,
amaranthine quarry undying.

My love leaps up, hills outrising,
stag-rippling wildness of war
fleshed, flowing, cat-like-pouncing,
manifest panther light outpacing,
golden sun-chariot god-imbued.

She, a lily, bramble-surrounded,
winter-white flawless snowflake,
runs, bannered army-like with wings,
flows, outlooking leopard-mountains,
a garden sealed, belly encircled.

He pastures among lily-lands laden,
love-stirring myrrh-maddened lord,
heart-gladness leaping, cedar-scented,
mouth most sweet, distilling honey,
his chariot-car inlaid with love.

Your lips distill nectar, my bride,
honey-milk tongue with sweet voice,
heart-ravishing jewel, wine overtopping.

Your locks are wavy, raven-black,
dove-like flitting eyes, pure springs,
inmost-being-calling shepherd among lilies.

The second I wrote today while my students were taking their end-of-term exam.

The Trees Are Not Awake

The trees are not awake; they sleep,
they rest with quiet dreams about them,
as still and solemn as the mountains tall,
and only stir at gentle lover's touch
of breezes, or at roughest grasp of gales.
But never do they wake; they dream and dream,
and sleep with justice-sleep for ageless years.

But what, when endless ages pass, shall be
the ending of their sleep, and what
shall come to pass at angel's trump,
when sounds a note so loud, no sleep can stay,
but even death shall wake and dead men rise?

Then shall the trees awake, and rise in full,
and then the oak, the ash, the pine, the elm,
the rowan and the yew, they all shall live
and we, who knew them only in their sleep,
shall know the trees as though we never knew
and only then will know them as they truly are.

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