Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Lines on Nights-Before and Mornings-After


This poem has been significantly revised from the original as it appears in my collection. Why do I make revisions at all, especially where poems have already appeared in poetry publications elsewhere in their original form? To be honest, I am not really sure. Some poems I don’t revise in the least; others, as I read them from a distance of several years or more, seem to cry out, to a greater or lesser extent, for change.

As a poem is being read and interrelates with the reader, it takes on a life of its own. How much of a life and what shape it takes will depend, of course, as much on the reader as the poet. Could it be perhaps that even poems - like many of us as we grow old(er) - would welcome a makeover of sorts?

I can live with living alone, not least because I am a fairly self-contained person. At the same time, I wake sometimes to a bleak feeling of emptiness that I would never experience upon opening my eyes  to love-ines on the ceiling while listening to the gentle breathing of someone next to me. Moreover, it is a feeling to which  I suspect no single person, whatever their sex or sexuality, would ever claim a monopoly,


The touch of your cheek
like damask on mine;
playful fingers, eagerly

Watching a crescent moon
play hide-and-seek.
an occasional star venturing
to peek…

Clouds drift down, cover
the world’s lovers
with a handkerchief stained
shades of blue
for all the lights, darks
and in-betweens
of human loves, joy, grief...
marking pearly brows

Distant hum of an aeroplane
waking the senses
to a rare  reality hinting
at immortality

Your lips homing in
on mine,
eager tongues breaking free
of all bondage

Heaven-sent  embraces
gathering pace, spinning us
on the Earth’s axis,
spilling us like drops of dew
from spreading petals
come break of day, exuding
incredible scents of  a lifetime's

Pink triangle of dawn,
risen to a chorus
of nature’s lasting blessing
on our finer triumphs

At peace in your arms,
no sweeter rest
for having no dread of waking
from it alone

Copyright R. N. Taber 2004; 2011

[Note: An earlier version of this poem under the title 'Heaven's Handkerchief'  appears in The Third Eye by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2004; revised ed. in e-format in preparation.]

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