All Tales have been Told
It’s cold in the gallery and far too sterile for inspiration.
White walls display still-life Polaroids, an artist’s arrangements
of humans, animals, flowers, and peculiar bits of nonsense.
I’ve heard this story on a previous occasion.
I’m wishing myself across the Atlantic
to the grandiose surroundings of a French palace
converted for the purposes of a public museum.
Antiquity’s bards have relinquished their tales
to heedless generations who pass them by without a second glance.
On the Louvre’s ground floor, in the Michelangelo gallery
Love revives Psyche with a kiss.
I can imagine Canova in his dusty workshop
skillfully smoothing a large block of white marble
to show the subtle grace of eternal lovers.
Choosing for his story their final moment,
when the soul in deadly languor
awakens again to her lover’s compassionate embrace.
I wonder how many eyes
have traced the delicate lines of their supple figures
in breathless anticipation of a completed kiss.
How many expect their movement at any instant?
Some say, “all tales have been told”
then art and word must exist to translate them countless times.
For in each resides a trace of the divine
and many tiny fragments of a transcendental truth.
She used to speak to me.
My ghostly pale and luminous
mother of the night.
They say she’s dead, you knownothing but a small, cold world.
But she took me places
across rippling pools of time,
to visit her northern friend
that steadfast guide Polaris,and she would tell us of her arduous life.
Then, I’d go home for a while,
to rest my spirit
in the high, fog dipped cliffs of Ireland.
She waxed and waned,
waiting patiently for my return.She knew I wouldn’t be long.
I would hear her talk again
of her meetings with Venus and Mars.
I smiled at her description of their faces,
his red with blood and scarred from many battles
and hers an ever changing beauty.
Then her voice would fade,like leaves swept away by the breeze.
Now, we rarely speak, for I’ve grown in years
and must suffer the reality of physical life.
I worry that she’ll pass into nothingness,
like light stolen by a singularity
like a dream long forgottenby the child who no longer has its youth.
Like mist-filled nights on the rocky seashore
my thoughts wander away, then back to me.
They collect in pools my heart scarce can afford
where wave upon wave my sorrows appease.
No lighthouse can guide the lonely towards home
nor heavenly stars illumine the sands.
For those dazed by the fogs and left alone
have distant memories of love’s sweet hands.
Yet somehow from this shadow we emerge
to regain life in the monthly moon tides.
For when day breaks, many waves gently surge
then love calls and the lost souls will arise.
I am without light. I am without tears.
I am without love, anywhere but here.
Shall Boreas send me a howling gale?
To foretell the lasting transformation
or mock me nightly under sleepful veil
and keep my thoughts from fruitful gestation.
Where, great Muse, do you hide my spirit’s art?
All year, in vain, I await October
when shy monarchs arrive to fill my heart
with insightful whispers; make me sober.
No longer does my soul dream peacefully
torn between the night’s rough tides
as if I belonged to these oceans solely
but neither caring where I’d best abide.
So long as I am crushed upon this shore,
I’ll live the hermit’s life, blind forever more.
Have I 1/03/2007
Have I seen life ‘til now?
What have my eyes stolen from this world,
to the drearily indistinct corners of my soul.
And now, the sky dives into an emerald sea
that crawls upon the shore with foamy hands.
Have I seen love ‘til now?
Or tasted sweet Psyche’s ambrosia on any lover’s lips
be they lovingly soft or hungrily intense.
But now, the river narrows and slows,
by the sweetest blessings of winged Love and his bride.
Have I crossed ‘til now?
And shaken away the sad and lonely past,
pure joy does not walk with such strangers.
For now, the rose may have a new name
and Love will whisper it to us in time.
We possess no art for art’s forsaken
much the same as our winged mischief maker
somewhere for granted he is not taken
with his love Psyche. Hell couldn’t shake her.
I watch them daily; the unappeased lot
seem not to notice where they are lacking.
Perhaps, merely I have found what I sought
not as I dreamed, illusion is cracking.
No place for them in heaven or in hell.
For among stars, young Cupid breathes deeply
sadden by this world where humans must dwell
without divine touch; we are unseemly.
Superficiality reigns supreme,
but true beauty creates lovelier dreams.
These are my sonnets. There aren't very many yet, but it is becoming one of my favorite writing forms. They are more difficult to write, and I like the challenge.