Love in the Asylum

Mad Girl's Love Song

 

A stranger has come
To share my room in the house not right in the head,
A girl mad as birds

Bolting the night of the door with her arm her plume.
Strait in the mazed bed
She deludes the heaven-proof house with entering clouds

Yet she deludes with walking the nightmarish room,
At large as the dead,
Or rides the imagined oceans of the male wards.

She has come possessed
Who admits the delusive light through the bouncing wall,
Possessed by the skies

She sleeps in the narrow trough yet she walks the dust
Yet raves at her will
On the madhouse boards worn thin by my walking tears.

And taken by light in her arms at long and dear last
I may without fail
Suffer the first vision that set fire to the stars.

 

Dylan Thomas

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

Longing

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Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again.
For then the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.

Come, as thou cam’st a thousand times,
A messenger from radiant climes,
And smile on thy new world, and be
As kind to others as to me.

Or, as thou never cam’st in sooth,
Come now, and let me dream it truth.
And part my hair, and kiss my brow,
And say My love! why sufferest thou?

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again.
For then the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.

 

Matthew Arnold

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

 

 

Storm of Silence

miranda-1916

As the indecorous breeze does billow

ebb and flow of his dreams,

swelling a deep desire

for her to return

within each tide

of hesitation.

 

As the unconscious ark of salvation,

sinks slow beneath his sleep,

drowning a deep desire

for her to return

he lies laconic

of malediction.

 

 

© 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

In an Artist’s Studio

image

One face looks out from all his canvasses,
One self same figure sits or walks or leans;
We found her hidden just behind those screens,
That mirror gave back all her loveliness.
A queen in opal or in ruby dress,
A nameless girl in freshest summer greens,
A saint, an angel; – every canvass means
The same one meaning, neither more nor less.
He feeds upon her face by day and night,
And she with true kind eyes looks back on him
Fair as the moon and joyful as the light;
Not wan with waiting, not with sorrow dim;
Not as she is, but was when hope shone bright;
Not as she is, but as she fills his dream.

 

Christina Rossetti

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)

Forsaken

 

I search

for your soul

in every passing stranger’s face.

Knowing it is too late.

 

I dreamt

we met again

soothing all the pain between us.

The cruellest of dreams.

 

I crucify

time through mourning

yet it cannot hold back dawning,

of my emancipation.

 

© Katypoetess 2016

 

beata-beatrix_1863-70_

My Knight

Redgirl_and_knight01 - Copy

I do not know who you were,

or when I knew and loved you.

You are not the man I am with now,

but there is an essence of his spirit

that has travelled through time

and rescued me

from some situation

that is lost in years gone by.

This life with you

where we met once again

I am reluctant, cynical and suspicious

and search for the look in your eyes

that won my heart hundreds of years ago.

I cannot see, hear or touch that soul but I feel it.

It was not there when I met you again

but gently over time, I feel him coming

over hills, forests and desert.

And I watch for him.

And I wait.

And I hope he does not arrive too late.

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