A Distant Flame (a poem)

A faint fire burns on a distant hill

a long journey with winds never still

a forest and valley demon-full

but the thought of warmth…pulls.

 

It has been many miles since I last felt the flame

And may be many more til I see it again

The joy of freedom slowly subsides

Once more to be captured fills my mind.

 

My need for heat I half-heartedly fight

But the temperature’s dropping night after night

How long must I wait to reach the next peak?

How long is each night when I cannot sleep?

 

I hope she’s as far from the fire as I

Yet the light of the flame glistens her eye

And leads her through a thorny field

And I pray her quest will never yield.

 

On some frozen evening by fire’s light

With both the precious hill in sight

May we warm ourselves in love’s golden glow

And on our journey together go.

On the Steps of Santa Croce-Summer 1995 (a poem)

On the steps of Santa Croce

Did I look into her eyes,

By the lions made of stone

Did my senses start to rise,

Near the bones of Buonarotti

I saw a creation so fair,

She could have been his,

Marble, with blackened hair.

Only such a man

could envision such a sight

Near the church di Santa Croce

Beneath the Firenze light

Behind a Dante made of stone

I saw her so divine,

But a drama, not a comedy,

If only I could have known.

Drowning (1996)

And I stood in the sea in the water to my knees

And the sand between my toes and the stars in my eyes

Forward gently I wade into the sweeping waves

Knowing that if they take me

I may have to swim for days

But the wind blows on my back,

I can’t turn around

And the water swirls deeper, pulling me down

My legs still dry by my own command

It’s getting much harder, much harder to stand

The answer invades and elicits a frown

I must go on, I have to drown

And to fill my lungs with the ocean’s surge

It’s the only way to kill my landlocked urge

Satiation only will save my flesh

And submission my soul.

(got the idea in a Bible class at Estes Church of Christ to compare submission to intentional drowning.  kinda creepy, but I think you get the point)

“Who Shall Deliver Me?”

Cristina Rossetti is one of my favorite poets, and this is one of my favorite poems.  I recently came across it, written in a journal of mine, from early 1995.

God strengthen me to bear myself;
That heaviest weight of all to bear,
Inalienable weight of care.

All others are outside myself;
I lock my door and bar them out
The turmoil, tedium, gad-about.

I lock my door upon myself,
And bar them out; but who shall wall
Self from myself, most loathed of all?

If I could once lay down myself,
And start self-purged upon the race
That all must run ! Death runs apace.

If I could set aside myself,
And start with lightened heart upon
The road by all men overgone!

God harden me against myself,
This coward with pathetic voice
Who craves for ease and rest and joys

Myself, arch-traitor to mysel ;
My hollowest friend, my deadliest foe,
My clog whatever road I go.

Yet One there is can curb myself,
Can roll the strangling load from me
Break off the yoke and set me free