Sunday, 23 September 2012

Come Darkest Night

Today’s post last appeared on the blog in June 2010 and is repeated today especially for star-crossed lovers everywhere whatever their ethnicity, sexuality, religion or non-religion.

Among all the torchbearers that lead us through life, we can do worse than follow love for all it may well take us off the beaten track from time to time.

Yes, love can be a minefield, as star-crossed lovers worldwide will testify. Yet, being together and loving each other is worth all the pain we may inadvertently cause others and they, in return, deliberately if well-meaningly inflict on us.

As for those among us (including loved ones) that would bring disapproval or worse to bear on the world’s lovers, for whatever socio-cultural-religious reasons, they should mind their own business.  For we all deserve the freedom to choose. True, sometimes we make wrong choices. But others should respect that. No one has the right to choose for us. Nor is religion, sexuality or even family any excuse for resorting to force and/or rejection, however strongly we may feel it is in someone’s best interest not to take a certain path. Yes, we can point out the pitfalls, but it is their choice and theirs alone. We have no right to threaten them with consequences we may well suspect, but have no way of knowing; unless, that is, we set out to engineer them.

As I see it, the litmus test for love is sometimes having to let our loved ones and friends go their own way while letting them know we are always ready, willing and able to let our love for them offer support (not condemnation or a smug ‘I told you so’) should things fall apart and love’s light flicker and dim…

This poem is a villanelle.


Love, a guiding light
through a mist of days,
come darkest night

Though I take fright
of life’s shadowy maze,
love, a guiding light

Once blind, I have sight,
alert to false trails always,
come darkest night

Where doves take flight,
and douse a sunset’s blaze,
love, a guiding light

Like wrong and right,
upon conscience it preys
come darkest night

Reason not the right;
where a heart will, it stays;
love, a guiding light
come darkest night

[Note: First published as 'Love, a Guiding Light' in Tracking the Torchbearer by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2012; rev. ed. in e-format in preparation.]

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