Still of the Night

I cannot bear the silence of my room tonight,
And I must fill it with noise of wind and song,
Though the train passes beneath my window
And city-sounds crash through the wall.

No, this quietude is too much for me,
Though I dare not drown it in conversation,
A far too intrusive and meddlesome affair
With those with whom I share slight affinity.

But how is this now beyond the ken
Of one so accustomed to confinement?
The quiet is too empty for my ears
For they were once filled with your breath.

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Autumn Will Remind Me of You

The sun only rises here,
But your eyes are the forest
At dusk and in twilight’s
Shadow dance and playful light.

Here is summer’s heat and sweat,
While you are coolness and shade;
The sun shines too harshly
For your faded green and brown.

But autumn will remind me
Of your ever-changing hair,
As it takes on new shades
Of auburn fire and umber.

Awake at Night

Did sleep find you later tonight
With me no longer in your bed?
Or was the space I left restful
With no arm beneath your head?

Did not seeing my face make it
Easier to turn off the light?
Or were my fingers through your hair
Putting you to sleep at night?

I close my eyes, but sleep won’t come
When I can’t hold your sleeping form.
The night brings me cold wakefulness
Without you to keep me warm.

A Woman Gave Me Poetry

A woman gave me poetry
Although she was not mine to love,
As if the stars aligned above
Too early in their courses.

And though she claimed she loved me not,
I tarried ’til I thought she would;
At last, she gave to me this good:
The chance to write our story.

Each day, as I take up the pen,
I hold her gently in my grasp
For fear the ink has dried at last,
And I must write our ending.

And now I worry if she leaves,
She’ll take the pen away from me;
And with her as my enemy,
I’d never write again.

With You

Where was I before the summer came–
Before the arch-muse was reborn,
Phoenix-like from the low-burnt embers?

Where, wandering, would life have led?
The question may remain unanswered,
For I need no response when I am with you.

Your presence is rebuttal enough
To satisfy any doubt or disbelief
The world might throw in my path.

With you there is comfort in pain,
And there is joy, eternally springing;
I can be all things with you.

I want to dance and weep with you–
To laugh and love this lively life–
To sit in quiet and rest in your touch.

 

Even Me

I have it all and it’s not enough;
It never has been, nor will be,
But I keep expecting the goal line
To shift backward in my favor.

So then I fill my life to the brim
With life and noise–the excitement
Of friends and lovers, gods and idols–
Anything to add more meaning.

But when the gods turn their attention,
And idols resume their eternal silence,
There is only the merciless void:
My self-made, self-containing pit.

It’s a boredom and then it’s a race
Of the mind against its better demons;
But the winner doesn’t matter to me,
For the grand prize is only a deferment.

And although we all may try to hide,
You will always see it in their eyes;
Anyone can feel empty inside–
Even me.

Were I Edward VIII

Why do I ask the questions to which
Even I refuse to seek the answers?
Why frighten myself with impossible
Dilemmas and inopportunities?

So I distract myself with banality–
Mindless images and stories of others
Through whose vicarious imaginings
I will escape into muddled narcosis.

There, safe from the consequential,
I cocoon my heart with easy issues:
Inherently solvable, inviolably painless;
The irenic deaths are easier to live with.