Friday, 11 December 2009

Metaphors, and the art of lost love ..

I’ve chosen to introduce my new Blog with a trilogy of poems sharing a leitmotif .. Lost Love and the Art of Metaphor .. okay, it may seem rather obvious - a common theme, but I like to think I've added my own spin to these three poetically just and completely true stories of romantic attraction and the heartbreak of parting ..

Let's start in the tiny village of Little Dunmow (yep, there’s a big Dunmow too ..) It's in Essex, and in the grove there is a priory where Eleanora Lovaine Douglas and her Crusader knight, William le Hardi are buried .. local legend also claims the buried remains of Maid Marian, she of Robin Hood fame .. I wrote this after visiting there with a friend ..

This poem is not solely or entirely about Robin and Marian though (uh, metaphor -get it?) .. it represents the passing of a relationship, a changing of status, a shifting of the heart’s season – like an autumn day, as trees are releasing their leaves to be carried off by the wind .. a reconciliation of hope at the pearly gates of an eternally lost love ..

In Little Dunmow Church

In Little Dunmow Church
Weeds grow in the paving
But, deep within the vaults
Where true hearts are never betrayed

It is there sweet Maid Marian lays waiting

Yet, a beauty in her tower
A gilded cage of her design
A passionless tomb should
Pride and vanity win out.

The roguish Robin
Battles truth with a fine art
His arrows are but blunted words
The fool who struggles searches brambles

The point is buried deep within his heart

Torn flesh finds a silent stone
Hiding low in the greenbrier
His endless rage a tragedy
Quelled only by love’s desire.
For what purpose serve a rose
If freedom becomes her prison
Spoken words her love betraying?
A sacred peaceful place
Wrapped in protective thorns
A romantic heart that is still aching

All brave souls her cries do tempt
His sorrow from time not exempt

A crusader in this lover’s foolish endeavour

Our valiant squire
Sheds his noble blood
That today might last forever.

In Little Dunmow Church
Under foundation stones
Beneath the legend of history
A hush is on the gathering congregation

A wilting faded feathered plume
Plucked from the wing of an angel
Droops in faded glory over tainted ruby petals

Sweet wine upon her lips
Softly whispered words speak
Time’s last hopeful breath releases a sigh
Of life together in eternal perfect grace

There within imagination
I’ll be your love someday.

*     *     *

I first performed this next poem in London some years ago - but most recently on a hot summer night with canal boat residing poetry reciting Jo Bell ..

The piece explores the theme of Lost Love in more depth - as our protaganists decide that "a clean break means a messy break" .. with travel, a funeral and the crashing surf as background, this tale is one of love's desires screaming into the wind and finding the silence of distance echoing back across the great divide ..

Bitter Sweet

I’ve just returned from San Francisco
Where on New Year’s Day in ‘08
I buried a special lover

It was a lavish affair, all violins and stars,
Tears in our eyes and promises
Of nothing, again

The first to throw dirt, and flowers.
I, victim of rumour and envy

The other woman, who was at home
Wondering who was leaving whom
She cried, as I did, six thousand miles away
In Chinatown, where love was being redesigned
As miscommunication, to ease the separation

We tore and clawed the wealth of love
Which once held our hearts

Like those fake Roman coins
We bought for a pack of cigarettes
In El Djem

Or those lucky blue charms
Bartered from Turkish street stalls
To protect us from the evil eye

Tossed blindly, intentionally
At the wounds we had opened
With loving precision

Awaiting salt the incision lay bare
Stripped of flesh like petals dropping from
The chocolate roses that melted her heart

We drove out to the Cliff House and walked through the Pacific mist
Rusted tramp steamers huddled on rocks, shattered
An ancient mariner’s toys clinging to remnants of life
Reminding us of forgotten dreams

The ocean breeze blew sand through our hair
To settle dust in the lies
She conceived

I was relieved; I was revived
Coming back to the old town
A span across the Golden Gate, a shortcut to rainbow land
A city all hills, ups and down
Enough clear water to drown

Sorrows in liquor, and laughter too real
Like the humanity of pain

Too many unsaid words, too much recalled
Now, finally, laid to rest

In the dry baked clay where once we dug for gold
Amongst the bones
The brass ring of a lover’s final embrace
Completes the circle of life
And death

At the corner of Lombard, looking out across the bay to Alcatraz
I hopped on a streetcar
And like the morning mist
In California sunshine
Faded into memories
Now, Bitter Sweet.

*     *     *

The final piece in the trilogy takes us out of the human form - whether sci-fi or children's anamorphic animistic tales, detective novels or comic books, historical romance or contemporary thriller, metaphorical narratives are simply another way of trying to offer an entertaining explanation of the human condition at any given point .. and this little experiment has it's own twist ..

So we end with a double criss-cross betrayal of love ..

Spider and Fly

I, the spider, dangled metaphors
for she, the fly in my web
sweet harmonic convergence as rippling waves of crystal
light shimmer along my spandex nerve endings
reciting a song of deceit, a prayer of love
She had walked this tightrope before
the teasing rhythm of her subtle dance
touching heartstrings, chords, as I wove
my spiral dream of sticky obsession
cooly, calmly, passively, eagerly
she stroked innermost strands in visible betrayal
fluttered and soothed
the shrill cry of a nearby dying butterfly
Sensing immanent torture
awaiting the final love bite
she, the fly, called me on with a hundred reflections
of my own beauty
stealthily savouring the ultimate conquest
I placed leg after leg after legs across
the barbed wire fortress of feasts
her spongy tongue slipped over shiny
lips in gnarled envy at my elastic palace
I closed in consumption
consummation of hungry anger
sensous and sublime desire
hope fulfilled blood lust
a trembling buzz of opaque gossamer wings
the fly turned slowly lifted from the dew drop
honey moistened quilted spider bed
she, the fly, spat a gesture of passion
onto my tightly stretched lattice-welded
bridge of fear
breaking bonds, severing arteries
releasing tension
and I, as the spider
tumbled towards
the fly’s

*     *     *


Anonymous said...

Your new blog is looking good.

KW said...

Thank you for your kind words .. although I haven't 'officially launched the site the initial response has been very encouraging ..

If you, or any other blog visitor like what's here, just scroll up and toggle the 'peple who read me' tab .. it brings us all together and more readers is good for everyone ..

Thanks again .. come back soon ..