Two poems

Lies and Misdemeanors

You have gone beyond the place
where belief in me resides.
It’s to be expected,
with what I’ve done,
with what I’ve said,
all the well-worn stories and fallacies.

I who have betrayed you
can’t expect you
to be like Saul on the road
to Damascus,
dazzled by glory.
More like Paul,
in those final moments as he was hoisted
on the tree, that millisecond
before he breathed his last
and realized he hadn’t returned,
the world hadn’t ended,
his tormentors would return home
to wives and children,
and he would be left in a pit.

What could I say to you,
what could I do
which would sway you back to my side,
back to years of comfort?
Nothing. Time, even, is not infinite,
at least not for us.
Feeble, desultory wastrels,
thinking we have a fortune,
when we have a bag
with a hole cut out.

Just know, for all my faults, I loved you,
in my fashion, even though
it was out of the times.
It is not much comfort, I know,
and no recompense.
But it is all one now penniless
can give.

A Sort of Love Song

If I say “I love you”,
that is not the end of it.
It is merely the beginning
of the beginning.
Those words are not a
culmination, but a
promissory note,
the first step on a long path.
They’re a promise
to work on the promise,
with no firm destination
guaranteed.

Do not say “I love you”,
and expect hosts to break out
in Jubilate. Many say
the words; few grasp
their dread meaning.
They mean that I, a human,
take you, a human,
and say that I will treat you
as I would treat myself.
Though I remain myself,
and you remain yourself,
there is now this third creature,
suffused with us,
coterminous with us,
us more than us.
It is a pledge to not hurt,
to not break,
to not soil.
I will battle for all that is good to you;
you will battle for all that is good to me.

Sing “love”; but it is a song
tinged with joy and suffering,
gladness and sorrow.
Do not sing the words
if your voice can’t command
the melody.

But this, as always, is mere
background noise.
The trumpets blare,
the chorus acclaims,
and we hurtle on,
thinking the words are enough.

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12 thoughts on “Two poems

    • I wrote “Lies and Misdemeanors” first. Then I thought, I have another one in me. I wanted to write an anti-love poem, or a poem which describes love in all its difficulty, difficulty which we mostly ignore in the first flush.

      I’m glad you liked it.

  1. This poem so captures Love at its best and longest and I wanted to thank you in some small way. Writing is not my strong point so I substitute with photos and word tidbits. You mentioned you liked Huskies. . .
    Siberian Husky. . .
    A sled dog revered for being able to traverse even the most cold and difficult Alaskan terrain, a team of Siberian Huskies would make formidable competitors as an Olympic ice hockey team. While the breed still serves as a sled dog, they also make wonderful family pets. True to their working nature, Siberian Huskies love to play and run and do best with active families that can provide them with plenty of exercise. If left alone for too long, they may become destructive.
    But they have the most beautiful blue eyes.

  2. Please tell me you’ve heard of “Three Dog Night”? You aren’t much older than my oldest son. . .
    A Three Dog Night is a really cold night on a sledding adventure or delivery in the North country. A one dog night is mild, only one dog needed in your sleeping bag to keep you warm, and on and on. . . 😉

  3. LL, I am in awe of your writing. I have never been good at writing, even letters. Your words are very meaningful. Thank you for sharing with us.

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