Some Poems of Love and War

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Dirty Work

Weary and sleep inclined
I watched the pools of rain
Upon a roof below a corridor
White, quiet and quite empty.

A calmness of concentration came
As I aimed and made the kill, again.
There, a bleeding body
While, somewhere, trees buds were bursting
With the Spring.

I had killed, knitting in space-time
A synchronicity since it was only
One family’s loss
But civilization’s gain.

The choice was never hard
Since Thought can never act
And in Action without Thought
Lies a perfect bliss.

But the Dragon stayed
While only I moved on:
They – the politicians – could still cry
For they forget our memories,
The things that we did in their name.

Yet our eyes betray our loss
For we few who survived are forever
And always
Alone.

DW Myatt


One Grief

The worst and the best – these feelings of love:
Great, profound, best in their beginning
Yet worst with its ending
When we pace our small room
As outside the warm Sun of Spring appears
From cloud that brought such an early morning
Rain.

Now, we look out toward where those flowers of Spring
Push upwards from the plush green bank
Beside the lawn that I trimmed
Only one month ago
For the first time
This year.

Beyond, sunlight caught,
Those hills whose treeful slopes
Are greener now that I am sad, sadder, saddened by a grief born
From her losing:
Such life, around – such promise filling this air
With song
As birds proclaim both territory and pride
While I, Bach-hearing, resist resist resist
That temptation to kneel
As dark anguish heavily descends to cover such life as was my life:

For there is no God now to help as when I the monk
Toiled with hands, feelings, desires – until Thought surprised me
With the perfume of a woman
And shook me to take me far from the Monk’s Garden, the cloister, that warm Summer
Of warmful Sun –
Took me, far beyond myself
To where a female deity
Was born.

But, yes, there are tears now, as if the centuries, calling
Held me with the cries of those who long before my birth
Had suffered, cried, mourned, and died –

So many tears, so many, taking me far beyond her loss
To where some future peaceful place, Sun-warmed, and rural as an English Summer,
Waits:

If only – if only I, we, were there
In that Paradise serene
Where even my desire, my yearning, becomes stilled
As it was not stilled with her
As I restless even beyond myself despite my best most noble hopes
Filled her with sadness, sometimes,
Until the slim thread holding us in love thinned and broke
Breaking her down in a sadness of grief, bent over her bed
Those hours when words failed as words fail
That day of rain and Sun where light from her window beheld her clinging
To the sheets of her bed, her pillow wet with tears.

There was, is, nothing for me to do now
I am sorry, so sorry
But live – or try to live
Remembering: for the centuries, calling
Hold me with the cries of those who long before my birth
Have suffered, cried, mourned, and died,
Thus urging me with such remembering to make some goodful godful use
Of the time remaining, here,
Far from that un-causal Paradise
Which might – should – be ours
One day
When the crying, our hurting,
Stops

DW Myatt


Here I Am, Waiting

Here I am, waiting, while the cold night grows ever darker
And the thin crescent moon
Disappears.

Those were the moments of hope – of excuses
As to why she did not call
But the hours, the slow hours, dragged them away
Until he was left, alone, bent, desperate but not desperate
Because unwilling even then to fully believe
His loss.

He loved her so much; he had loved her so much –
She, of the weeks, months, of passionate new love –
And he held, again, her card, reading, reading until the tears came:

To my darling, I love you

What was there left? Where was the future they shared, deeply
In those weeks when three decades of mutual sorrow, loneliness, hope
Came together through embracing arms, kisses
And that intimacy of touch?
Where the joyous desire that left him trembling
When he had stood at her door, waiting,
And she, arriving, threw her arms around him
Holding him so close with her passion, her love,
That he closed his eyes in tears knowing, knowing, his dreams were there
Embodied within her flesh?

Where now the promise promising so much that never was
Never now could be
Fulfilled.

For she was gone, taken, killed, by an accident of life
As he became taken enfolded by sorrow
Until, broken, the life left him
To leave only the shell, only the physical shell
Longing for death.

What would, could, should he do?
Only exist, ambling, alone, in some wood, on some hill,
Seeking no comfort and finding no comfort, uncaring of himself –
Except when the hills, the clouds, the Sun, the trees
Their life
Came unto him as he the bearded tramp waited
For death,
For then for a moment but only a moment he might be at peace
Amid the life that was their life.

DW Myatt


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