Love Among the Relics: A Suite in Eight Movements

Image: Derelict Old House

Love Among the Relics:  A Suite in Eight Movements

O heart! oh blood that freezes, blood that burns!
Earth’s returns
For whole centuries of folly, noise and sin!
Robert Browning’s “Love Among the Ruins”

A Suite of Poems in Eight Movements

This suite of poems scoops love out of various & sundry human institutionships and socially constructed departmentalizations, as it careens & crystalizes to the heart of sensibilities that stun reality.

I.  A Father’s Love

Twisted vines hem him along
A sun ball shimmers on the tarn
The hill globs the valley’s tongue
Morning bends over the barn

A ribbon of light cuts through the dark
The bridge hitches the road
And now he hears the red dog bark
And readies his heavy load

After spring fuses the lilac bushes
And all sweet love is pining
He’ll breathe a sigh that never pushes
The twisted veil from vining

Then night will gather him in her arms
While the red dog will be straying
Over the bridge that fastens the charms
That fetch the soul to praying

II.  A Mother’s Love

Rosemary, basil, sage
Tomatoes growing on the vine
Thyme in her purple blooms
Fat, round mushrooms

Creatures gather in the coven
Black eyes light the night
Stirring the air with zest
Pulling the bread from the oven

Beating the drum, swirling the broom
Blue veil sweeping the living room
Standing stone still before the clock
Listening to the cradle knock

She draws your heart across her mood
Listening for your silent nod
She thirsts to be well understood
Before the day of burning sod

They cannot give her
What they do not have
As their tortured souls
Tout the grave

III.  A Brother’s Love

He failed to appear
But I feel I know his anguish
I have seen it in the eyes
Of many men and boys

I think I know his confusion
As clearly as my own
But he never bullied me
And I love him for that

IV.  A Sister’s Love

Cotton candy at the fair
Bubbles popping here & there
Little princess decked in pink
Unicorn bobbing in the drink
Never Never Land on the moon
Raindrops shelling lost pontoon
Donkey honking up the train
Scarecrow yellow-bricking brain

V.  A Son’s Love

A chicken & an egg go for a walk
Two chickens return
& split on separate ways

The moon spies on the earth
For the sun who sends reports
To the eye of God

The tree of life stands on the hill
Birds tweet songs in the branches
Then lift & scatter across blue worlds

Day & night the marbles roll
Respecting gravity’s need
To hold tight to things

Grace & beauty tangle
As the wind lashes ashes
From the urn of hope

The storm subsides
Mothers fade
& animals flee

VI.  A Daughter’s Love

As a calf loves a horse
As a zipper loves a button
As rain loves an umbrella
As a nose loves an ear
As a spider loves a cat
As a shoe loves an earring
As a tooth loves a diamond
As snow loves a tree
As a marble loves a bird
Maybe love’s too strong a word

VII.  A Blank Page’s Love

Yes, dear , you would not understand—
But that’s not necessary.  Besides,
I don’t understand either.

But here we are.  And you know not why—
Lest I sound arrogant, I’ll just say,
Neither do I.

Your blankness fills my mind
With thoughts of melancholy
And fairy-dancing ethereal glumness.

O, how your brother likes to bolshevise.
But that’s neither here nor there,
Request an answer

That you have already
Decided is pure crap.
Hee, hee, hee, hee, hee.

O, wait—shee, shee, shee, shee, shee!
Just a retro response
To a distraction.

I know the blank page
Is luring me to blaspheme
And cauterize thoughts

That have been roaming
The ether for centuries—
Go, go, go, girl

You know the fingers
Of joy . . .

VIII.  God’s Love

I’m not a good daughter
Mommy and Daddy could attest to that—
But God loves me

I’m not a good sister
My sister wholeheartedly agrees—
But God loves me

I’m not a good niece
My aunts and uncles would say that’s so—
But God loves me

I’m not a good cousin
My cousins would not sing my praises—
But God loves me

I’m not a good mother
My children gladly confirm—
But God loves me

I’m not a good grandmother
My grandchildren can back that up—
But God loves me

I’m not a good aunt
My nieces can corroborate—
But God loves me

I’m not a good friend—
But God loves me

***

To read my prose commentaries on these poems, please visit, “Original Poem: ‘Love Among the Relics:  A Suite in Eight Movements’ with Commentary” at LetterPile.


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