MAYBE THERE IS MORE TO LIFE THAN LIVING
Maybe there is more to life than living.
A person is a ripple in a stream,
Roiling the waters with a dream,
The revelation that makes life worth giving.
In love one finds a reason for believing,
Needing love to make life more than seem,
Love that makes the mundane moment gleam,
Undoing fate with faith, and death with grieving.
There is no love but at the risk of death,
Having valued something more than self,
Embracing what gives life to life, and grace,
Replacing fear of death or loss with joy.
Know then that the dreaded end of breath
Is not the end one ought to aim for, else
None would speak to fortune face to face,
Granted life no bullet can destroy.
BE MY VALENTINE, MY LOVE
Be my Valentine, my love,
As I will be for you,
And we will love the whole day long,
And love our whole lives through.
For love has no parameters
And does not end with time,
But is the gift of paradise,
A pinch of the sublime.
So let us take this holiday
To resubmit our love
To those within that know no sin
And with the angels move.
PROVERBS OF LOVE
–One can be unhappy by oneself, but to be truly tormented, one must love.
–Love is harder to accept than to give.
–To love is to embrace life. To love fully is to embrace both death and life.
–The secret of happiness is simple: be loving, giving, caring.
Why, then, are so many unhappy?
Because they are afraid.
–Love only yourself, and you are alone.
Love only one other, and the two of you are alone.
Love only your family, and your family is alone.
Love only your nation, and your nation is alone.
There can be no communion, not even with yourself, except through love of God.
I SOMETIMES THINK THAT I COULD BE ALONE
I sometimes think that I could be alone:
Really alone, with neither God nor friends.
The people near me then might well be stone:
Just faces on a frieze that never ends.
And I would travel in my mind towards death,
A world within a world sealed like a tomb.
My thoughts would be as silent as my breath,
And, like my breath, expire at my doom.
Such thoughts would make me shudder, were not you
A world where I may enter and find rest.
A rock gives way within, and I walk through
To be in laughing eyes a welcome guest.
Thank God I have you, friend, that I might stay
And be as I could be no other way.
Thirteen is a very lucky age!
Happiness comes tumbling out the door
Instantly a-giggle with a friend,
Returning with the bounce of empty bliss.
There’s no better ecstasy than this,
Even when the strange teen changes end,
Even when one finally knows the score.
No time of life’s more bubbly than this stage.
POETRY AND EXPLANATION
1. Since poetry is a partnership between poet and reader, what the poet meant is not what the poem means.
2. The image always means more than the explanation, making any explanation by the poet reductive.
3. Explanations by those other than the poet, however, may be enriching because they are not authoritative.
4. What, then, is a reader to do when faced with an intriguing passage that seems obscure? First, search her own mind and heart; second, search the minds and hearts of others through reading and conversation; third, treat the explanation of any poet foolish enough to make one with the same attention given to that of any informed reader; fourth, always be aware that the fault may be with the poet and not with the reader.
5. What, then, is a poet to do, having written a passage that many readers find obscure? First, consider whether the passage is unnecessarily obscure, and, if so, revise it; second, if the passage is richly obscure, have faith in your readers; third, if neither of the first two suggestions works, consider another vocation.
6. The only thing a poet should even consider explaining is what he never should have written in the first place.
FIRST ANNIVERSARIES REPLAY THE TUNE
First anniversaries replay the tune,
Instigating music yet unheard,
Reminiscences without a word,
Salient as the dark side of the moon.
Then sing with joy the old, familiar song
And listen for the notes you cannot hear,
Notes that play but to the inner ear,
Nor more nor less the love for which you long.
In silence underneath your celebration,
Vivid lies the truth of which you sing,
Exact as ice, radiant as summer,
Rich and spare, bountiful and pure.
So will you sense this sense without sensation
As you let the bells of glory ring,
Rejoicing to the rhythm of time’s drummer,
Yet yearning still for what you have, and sure.