LOVE COMES UNEXPECTEDLY
Love comes unexpectedly,
An arrow to the heart,
But stays only reluctantly
Through patience, will, and art.
The full-length version of the story
Has both joy and pain,
Boredom, lust, betrayal, glory,
Anger, comfort, shame.
It ends in grief, inevitably,
Through death or separation,
The harshness of the agony
As strong as the relation.
So why, then, love? And why persist
In love long after passion
Has gone its way? And why resist
An urge one need not ration?
The answer is in something more
Than fantasy and pleasure —
A passion passion never saw,
A hunger beyond measure;
A longing for the One in one
One longs for all one’s life,
And is, and has, and will become
In time as man and wife.
TO MY VALENTINE, WITH ALL MY LOVE
To my Valentine, with all my love,
Of whom I cannot say enough in praise:
May my love for you sufficient prove,
Yearning to redeem your caustic days.
Vortices within may drag you down.
Anchor, then, in my serenity.
Love saves some who otherwise might drown,
Embarked alone upon their Galilee.
Nor should you deem your own love not enough
To be the chapel to which I retreat
In search of a pavilion for my pain.
No love is love unless it be a seat
Enchanted, where a stone might weep again.
WHAT IS THE SIGN OF LOVE THAT TELLS ME WHEN
What is the sign of love that tells me when
A friendship and a crush are something more?
How can I know what life may have in store
When all the clues must lie beyond my ken?
How much happiness is love? And then
How much and long must it endure before
I recognize that strange and distant shore
Beyond which I won’t have to ask again?
I do not know, but trust that when I do
The answer will surround me like old fields
On which the things I hunger for will grow.
For now I share the mystery with you,
Waiting for what young affection yields,
And for the time when both of us will know.
EVIL HAS NO EASY EXPLANATION
Evil has no easy explanation.
Everyone is evil and is good.
Sometimes we watch ourselves do something evil
Frozen in a scream that’s never heard.
We cannot stop ourselves, so we go on,
Knowing somewhere else the horror plays
And plays and plays until we are forgiven,
Healed by someone’s gift of unearned love.
When someone has been tortured as a child,
Evil, like a mad dog, crouches near.
One buries it deep in a vaulted, lead-lined chamber,
But zombie-like it stalks the world within.
It’s strange that darkened children need forgiveness
For evil that they suffer, innocent.
But guilt’s the trademark of humiliation,
Burned into the flesh of memory.
Love washes over evil like an ocean,
Sweeping over seething, fisted anger,
Drowning it in cold, unquiet depths,
Leaving you weak and weeping on the strand.
You wouldn’t be yourself without the pain
That twists inside like penitential dancers,
Making you the stage of some strange beauty,
Like no one else, the host of our redemption.
LAST JUNE MY PARENTS GOT DIVORCED
Last June my parents got divorced. So now
I see my dad on weekends. My best
Friend. My good angel. So anyhow,
He lives with his girlfriend, and I’m his weekend guest.
It works out ’cause I love her and her three
Boys. But my mom says I can’t go there
Weekdays ’cause my grades will slip. Really.
But she’s got rights, and I don’t have a prayer.
Why is it parents have the right to split
When they have kids? Why don’t they have to wait?
Why are they so free to choose, while it
Becomes our job to learn to bear our fate?
Right now right through my heart there runs a wall
That I did not erect, as I recall.
Seventy-three refocuses on love
Even as she now must live alone.
Very little waits behind the door;
Every day is like the day before;
Nestled in her heart are sleeves of stone;
Time hangs like fog no sun will soon remove.
Yet there is much that makes her yearn for more.
To be is to be loved and blessed with grace,
However one might live or soon might die.
Revelations come like words long known,
Each an invitation to embrace,
Ecstasy unbearable but shy.
THERE WAS NO LOVE MORE GENUINE THAN MINE
There was no love more genuine than mine;
In giving and receiving it was pure.
Grieve not, for my legacy is pleasure,
Each memory a gift that will endure,
Returning you to moments fair and fine.