Thursday, April 23, 2009

National Poetry Month: Day #23

It's William Shakespeare's birthday. It's also the 12th anniversary of my arrival in Seattle. Today, a bonus, two sonnets:

Days of Glory

"Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man."
—Wm. Shakespeare, King John (III, iv.)

This day's as good as any, I suppose,
to ponder loss and wonder what is left
when water comes only from a fire hose,
and he who thirsts is still as much bereft
as one who wanders in the desert sand
beneath the sun's most relentless gazes,
confounded by the emptiness of hand
after grasping for the sweet oasis.
What willow will not break if bent too low
by buckets, torrents of tenacious rain
and slide into the slurry, just let go,
dissolve to sticks with minimum of pain?

For us who are made of flexible stuff,
sometimes too much is worse than not enough.

Will & Grace

"In all external grace you have some part..."
—Wm. Shakespeare, Sonnet 53

What elemental, eloquent design
lies underneath your public artifice,
that countenance so perfectly sublime
that jealous angels rival for your kiss
and hosts of lovers fawn to touch your skin?
What architect of heaven made your shell,
braving for glory's sake a deadly sin
that worldly thoughts of beauty would dispel
and leave instead an aching sense of loss,
a vacancy forever unfulfilled,
a palate bored by meat without the sauce,
an eye blind to the lily without gild.

Fair to wonder what good your maker meant
when the fruit of his work is discontent.

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