Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Three Poems on Love (written for Montana Festival of the Book 2008 Poetry Slam)

I wrote these three poems for the Montana Fesival of the Book 2008 Poetry Slam (as mentioned in the title). While I did come in fourth out of the seventeen entrants (not bad for my first Slam), it wasn't enough to get me to the final round, which only had room for the top two, so I didn't get to read the third poem there. It enjoyed a small theatrical release later that evening before two of my roommates. As with all lyric verse, these poems are meant to be read aloud, performed, ideally. Hope you enjoy.

The Difficult Relationship

You are short and I am tall,
Oh, this can never work at all!
I'm a Dem and you're Repub,
How is it then that we're in lub?
I'm a pauper, you're a queen.
For us to breed seems somehow mean.
I like Zappa, you like Bach,
When I say "scissors," you say "rock!"
Yet when into your eyes I look,
Find I there a laughing brook,
And lips to kiss and cheeks adore,
And lo! I am lost in sweet amore.
And when you upon me gaze,
What find you there that does amaze?
What it could be I hardly know,
But when I catch your eye I see you glow.

Oh! But our families are Montague and Capulet!
Surely riots would ensue if e're they met.
And how could we then be even friends
If our families could not make amends?
Yet, still we Love...though disagree
About global-warming's validity,
And whether prayer should be taught in school,
And whether Darwin was a fool,
And a hundred million other things,
Yet still we rise, on Love's light wings.

And we laugh together, if sometimes we fight,
For all disagreement in Love begins.
And eventually we find that neither is right,
And so, in Love, our disagreement ends.

Friendly Advice

Peace does not in sadness live,
Nor in a heavy heart can Love reside,
For only unrest can a sadness give,
And a heavy heart cannot open wide.

Go you then, and live in Joy,
And let your Joy a beacon be.
Look you for light in many things,
And in many things a light you'll see.

Know what is come is soon to pass,
So take now time to treasure this,
This grain of sand in the hourglass,
Oh what a shame it would be for you to miss!

See how it sparkles and it glitters so,
In one brief moment's quick descent,
Giving its all for this one show,
And this one show for you was meant.

So perk your ears and watch you close,
And love each moment's brief display,
And feel you things, and sniff your nose,
You can fill your life with Love this way.

I tell you this because I Love you so,
And it hurts my heart to hear you cry.
There are so many things I would have you know,
Like your heart is a bird, if you let it fly.

I'll put the key in the latch, but it's yours to turn.
So turn it, turn it! That bird has wings!
It needs open sky if it is to learn,
To fly, to perch on things.

But with your worries you've built a cage,
And each day a layer to the walls you add,
And when you grow cramped you moan and rage,
And claim that the world has made you sad.

But I know a secret that you have forgot,
And this cage that you've built, I can help you unlock it.
Listen, you're searching for something you've got,
And the key to this cage, you'll find in your pocket.

Love is the key and the sky and your wings
And life a gift not made to last.
So hurry, go now, Love you many things,
For today's tomorrow will soon be past.

So let now Peace in Happiness live,
And let now Love in our hearts reside,
And happy Love let us receive and give,
And let our hearts be open wide.

For Peace is treasure that will not rust,
And Love the only truth we can always trust.

The majority of this poem I wrote while in Nepal, I added the last two full stanzas and altered the ending couplet to "flesh it out" a little for the Poetry Slam.

If sacred land we tread with hearts
Uncluttered by cares that fill our days,
And if we turn with all our skill and arts,
And vow to mend our mindless ways,
And if we turn our Love on all that we see,
And hate not the bad and loving still,
Those that do harm us then surely we'll be
Children of God, beset by no ill.

For how can it be that blood is shed still,
When all these long centuries lo, it's been shed?
Has it not been enough, have we not had our fill?
Will we not stop to count the numberless dead?
Will we still let warmongers be leaders of men,
Shouting "FREEDOM!" and "PEACE!" from the end of a blade?
Do we still believe violence can be violence's end
Or that war ever anything but misery made?

Let us turn then in Love, on sisters and brothers,
On mothers and daughters, on fathers and sons.
If we are to be saved it won't be by others;
Look around, behold, we're the only ones.
So I say only Love can heal our ache,
We must Love and Love, 'till our hardened hearts break.

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