Poetry Corner – Volume 8

We have been angry at the world and what it is morphing into for the better part of this year. We have been sulking. We have been dejected. We have been resentful. Still, we have tried to focus on the beauty in the chaos, to give in to those brief moments of joy that life affords, and to make peace with an uncertain future. With this volume, we want to remind ourselves and you that we don’t have long to love. And that no matter how hurt or aggrieved we may be, love never truly goes away.

We Have Not Long to Love – Tennessee Williams

We have not long to love.
Light does not stay.
The tender things are those
we fold away.
Coarse fabrics are the ones
for common wear.
In silence I have watched you
comb your hair.
Intimate the silence,
dim and warm.
I could but did not, reach
to touch your arm.
I could, but do not, break
that which is still.
(Almost the faintest whisper
would be shrill.)
So moments pass as though
they wished to stay.
We have not long to love.
A night. A day….

I Don’t Want to Lose – Mary Oliver

I don’t want to lose a single thread
from the intricate brocade of this happiness.
I want to remember everything.
Which is why I’m lying awake, sleepy
but not sleepy enough to give it up.
Just now, a moment from a year ago:
the early morning light, the deft, sweet
gesture of your hand
reaching for me.

Joy – Clarissa Scott Delany

Joy shakes me like the wind that lifts a sail,
Like the roistering wind
That laughs through stalwart pines.
It floods me like the sun
On rain-drenched trees
That flash with silver and green.

I abandon myself to joy—
I laugh—I sing.
Too long have I walked a desolate way,
Too long stumbled down a maze
Bewildered.

What’s in it? – Vikram Seth

I heard your name the other day
Mentioned by someone in a casual way.
She said she thought that you were looking great.
A waiter passed by with a plate.
She reached out for a sandwich, and your name
Went back from where it came.

But like a serious owlet I stood there,
Staring in mid-air.
I frowned, then followed her around
To hear, just once more, that sirenic sound –
Those consonants, those vowels – what a fool!
I show more circumspection as a rule.

I love you more than I can say.
Try as I do, it hasn’t gone away.
I hoped it would once, and I hope so still.
Someday, I’m sure, it will.
No glimpse, no news, no name will stir me then.
But when? But when?

Even so – Alice Walker

Love, if it is love, never goes away.
It is embedded in us,
like seams of gold in the Earth,
waiting for light,
waiting to be struck

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