I had a poetry reading…

I had a poetry reading last night, part of the Oak Park local authors night at the main library. I read four poems, and the audience broke into loud spontaneous applause after the third one, which I think means they really liked it. Or they thought I was done. Or they were relieved to get a love poem instead of the bleak war pieces I'd read earlier. In any case, a reprise here, just in case you missed it the first time around. Apparently, a goodly part of about forty people in my local library quite liked this poem.

On our Twentieth Anniversary
(more or less)

I do not cleave only unto him and so
some have thought this love a lightsome thing.
(It does not help that neither wears a ring.)
In truth, I sometimes wish that he would go --

-- inevitable, that single souls should grate
when year piles onto year until they blur.
I might forget the joyful souls we were,
and why I chose this one to be my mate.

If lightsome be, let that mean 'full of light'
lighter than air, and flying, is my heart.
And the thought that someday he and I must part
is pestilence, pollution, rot and blight.

Twenty years I chose him, day by yes;
sixty more I'd wish for, more or less.

5 thoughts on “I had a poetry reading…”

  1. Day by yes? Was that a placeholde/filler that became permanent? It reminds me of the famous “scrambled eggs” nonsense lyrics McCartney had for “Yesterday”.

  2. OK, if it is OK to pick apart the fine points, why did you write “I do not cleave…” instead of “I cleave not…” since the second phrase would make the first line in perfect iambic pentameter

  3. I think it would have felt too intensely archaic then, esp. with the ‘cleave unto’ — I wanted a contemporary balance to that language.

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