I am Not his Muse

 

I am not his muse, and I can never be.

No time, circumstance or chance will let me.

 

After all he gives and gets, loves, regrets,

he remains my teacher and I, the taker.

He is anarchist and challenging creator,

who advocates the belief I have no need

to be seen and posed as a poetical parody.

I raise a reluctant pen, listening to his elation.

Spoken softly in spite of my self-deprecation,

questioning whether to make my verse heard.

 

I am not his muse, and I can never be.

No time, circumstance or chance will ever let me.

 

 

© Katy Megan Hughes 2016

Jealousy

Circe Invidiosa *oil on canvas  *180.7 x 87.4 cm *1892

He must feel blooded with the spirit of a god
to sit opposite you and listen, and reply,
to your talk, your laughter, your touching,
breath-held silences. But what I feel, sitting here
and watching you, so stops my heart and binds
my tongue that I can’t think what I might say
to breach the aureole around you there.
It’s as if someone with flint and stone had sparked
a fire that kindled the flesh along my arms
and smothered me in its smoke-blind rush.
Paler than summer grass, it seems
I am already dead, or little short of dying.

 

Sappho

Sonnet XVII

Tristan and Isolde

 

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

 

Pablo Neruda

Reconciliation

image

 

Some may have blamed you that you took away

The verses that could move them on the day

When, the ears being deafened, the sight of the eyes blind

With lightning, you went from me, and I could find

Nothing to make a song about but kings,

Helmets, and swords, and half-forgotten things

That were like memories of you—but now

We’ll out, for the world lives as long ago;

And while we’re in our laughing, weeping fit,

Hurl helmets, crowns, and swords into the pit.

But, dear, cling close to me; since you were gone,

My barren thoughts have chilled me to the bone.

 

W B Yeats

Project for a Fainting

lovers-and-others-strangers

Oh, yes, the rain is sorry. Unfemale, of course, the rain is
with her painted face still plain and with such pixel you’d never see

 
it in the pure freckling, the lacquer of her. The world
is lighter with her recklessness, a handkerchief so wet it is clear.

 
To you. My withered place, this frumpy home (nearer
to the body than to evening) miserable beloved. I lie tender

 
and devout with insomnia, perfect on the center pillow past
midnight, sick with the thought of another year

 
of waking, solved and happy, it has never been this way! Believe
strangers who say the end is close for what could be closer?

 
You are my stranger and see how we have closed. On both ends.
Night wets me all night, blind, carried.

 
And watermarks. The plough of the rough on the slick,
love, a tendency toward fever. To break. To soil.

 
Would I dance with you? Both forever and rather die.
It would be like dying, yes. Yes I would.

 
I have loved the slaking of your forgetters, your indifferent
hands on my loosening. Through a thousand panes of glass

 
not all transparent, and the temperature.
I felt that. What you say is not less than that.

 

 

Brenda Shaughnessy

 

Art – Jack Vettriano

The Transformation

Fortitude

 

Solitude

 

I remain free

my own lost saviour

a follower of no-one

sorcering a new novena.

 

 

Awakening

 

I still storms

in steadfast spirit

a respectable sinner

proclaiming the illicit.

 

 

Doubt

 

I demure uncertain

face reveals and veils

heart throes stone to flesh

keeping close my seven devils.

 

 

Fortitude

 

I am graced

with all virtues from history

my archetype immortalised

amidst this scripture of mystery.

 

 

 

© Katypoetess 2016

 

 

He Wishes His Beloved Were Dead

 

 

Were you but lying cold and dead,
And lights were paling out of the West,
You would come hither, and bend your head,
And I would lay my head on your breast;
And you would murmur tender words,
Forgiving me, because you were dead:
Nor would you rise and hasten away,
Though you have the will of wild birds,
But know your hair was bound and wound
About the stars and moon and sun:
O would, beloved, that you lay
Under the dock-leaves in the ground,
While lights were paling one by one.

 

W B Yeats

She Walks In Beauty

 

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

 

Lord Byron

Paradise Lost – Book I

Geometric Urania in Libourne by Boulogne, le Jeune (1654-1733).

Sing Heav’nly Muse, that on the secret top

Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire

That Shepherd, who first taught the chosen Seed,

In the Beginning how the Heav’ns and Earth

Rose out of Chaos: or if Sion Hill

Delight thee more, and Siloa’s brook that flow’d

Fast by the Oracle of God; I thence

Invoke thy aid to my adventrous Song,

That with no middle flight intends to soar

Above th’ Aonian Mount, while it pursues

Things unattempted yet in Prose or Rhime.

And chiefly Thou, O Spirit, that dost prefer

Before all Temples th’ upright heart and pure,

Instruct me, for Thou know’st; Thou from the first

Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread

Dove-like satst brooding on the vast Abyss

And mad’st it pregnant: What in me is dark

Illumin, what is low raise and support;

That to the highth of this great Argument

I may assert Eternal Providence,

And justifie the wayes of God to men.

 

Exerpt from Milton’s Paradise Lost (Book 1)

Resurrection

Resurrection

His unravelling – of sacred shroud.

 

The suffocation of

her melancholic madness

by cloth of self-belief

blesses a new beginning.

 

The emancipation from

Poetess to temple Papess

his ruin miraculously raised

to unrepentant penitent.

 

The revealing complete

unveils fervent holiness,

his new bride of a Christ

in divine ambiguity.

 

His lost gospel – finally found.

 

© Katypoetess 2016

Dead Love

 

Oh never weep for love that’s dead
Since love is seldom true
But changes his fashion from blue to red,
From brightest red to blue,
And love was born to an early death
And is so seldom true.

Then harbour no smile on your bonny face
To win the deepest sigh.
The fairest words on truest lips
Pass on and surely die,
And you will stand alone, my dear,
When wintry winds draw nigh.

Sweet, never weep for what cannot be,
For this God has not given.
If the merest dream of love were true
Then, sweet, we should be in heaven,
And this is only earth, my dear,
Where true love is not given.

Lizzie Siddal (date unknown)

La Petite Mort of Creativity

Katy Vampire May16 small[1]

Let me bleed out a moment’s release,

from this contemptible inner peace.

 

my tears are too clear of midnight ink,

my thoughts are apathetic and indistinct.

 

I look for omens, cracks in bedroom mirrors,

for owls, magpies – among nests of unfamiliar

 

I churlishly spread my coquettish legs

seducing any passing stranger’s death.

 

To be touched – trembled by fingers of grief,

so I can weave a wanton poetic wreath

 

I call all gods to bring me a sultry storm,

traumas to ride wild into rhythm and form.

 

I hunger for blood of an illicit lover’s return

to break open my heart, leave me spurned,

filling this barren womb with words

that haven’t been born, read, or heard.

 

© Katypoetess 2016

 

 

Immortal Soliloquy

Immortal Soliloquy

They say that the worst kind of grieving

is when the lost antagonist is still alive,

whether sudden as a spring swallow’s dive

or a slow wintered bewilderment in the leaving.

Buried, burnt or butchered cruelly out of heart

that did endure with vexation and veneration,

fear of being alone or guilt of being causation

of their final yield to the wind that blows love apart.

 

But do we still wish to live in a solitary moratorium,

coveting our fervorous hearts in a slate stone mirth?

 

©  Katypoetess 2016

 

 

 

Clenched Soul

 

We have lost even this twilight.
No one saw us this evening hand in hand
while the blue night dropped on the world.

I have seen from my window
the fiesta of sunset in the distant mountain tops.

Sometimes a piece of sun
burned like a coin in my hand.

I remembered you with my soul clenched
in that sadness of mine that you know.

Where were you then?
Who else was there?
Saying what?
Why will the whole of love come on me suddenly
when I am sad and feel you are far away?

The book fell that always closed at twilight
and my blue sweater rolled like a hurt dog at my feet.

Always, always you recede through the evenings
toward the twilight erasing statues.

Pablo Neruda