04 June 2014

The last one

This is the last poem of a group of poems that I wrote several years ago, and submitted for publication then and more recently.

The source of love is the lover

It was with you
I began to understand
the power of the source and the catalyst;
the necessity of the impulse to support the action
and of the action to realise the intention.
To say I love, I must love.

How late I come to this,
and surely there’s more.

The endeavour is perilous;
we reach for the heart only to recoil
when our fingers encounter skin.
Or we are halted just by a look,
dismayed when a shaft of light
jolts the beloved into negative relief.

But I saw it played out before me,
in a man’s face contorted with pain
and the effort of expression:
there is no guilt involved.
We give of ourselves to make it true, to make it love;
we relinquish nothing.
It is the holding back,
the holding on,
that causes loss.

And the loss is always our own.

(First published in New Contrast 165 Vol 42, No 1)