Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Sharp Knife Made Dull

How dreadfully horrid the man who stalks
My person at the dead of nighttime's rays!
When light is rarely to be seen, to walk
Through the many black and perilous ways!
Yet let us hope that he can with all his
Cunning outsmart my purse with this in it.
Perhaps he can cope with a lady, miss
Perkenstein shall elope with his black wit!
For hidden inside this purse of fine silk
Is a brick I use on such occasion's
Where men do threaten ladies with blunt hilts;
I hope he knows a priest for confession's!
But as he approached my fears were made base,
My heart struck dead at that sight of his face...

How strange the look this stalker gives me now,
As though he knew me quite well indeed; yes,
And as I stare I am unaware how
He moves closer to me. I do confess
Myself powerless, my brick a deadweight
In my purse of silk now gone limp in my hand.
Lips, remember the faintest touch of hate,
That went forth from the mind of his fair gate;
Yet though afraid  I find no reprimand,
My worries are quelled, my doubts taste the sate
Of seeing also the fear in his eyes:
That in him, my foe, memories arise.
But wrapped together by these few strings
I wonder at the why behind these things...

Calls he to me, do not run! I've waited
Many a long year to see you once more
And yet I do fear, for the ring you wore
About your finger is gone. It is late
And though perchance you may not think of me
As friendly, as memory may serve you,
Perhaps you'll be kind enough to have tea
With an old friend turned foe: to give me true
Satisfaction for years unspent in sight
Of your beauteous form! That then I might
Be free; for my body is spent, and light
No longer carries color, and my height
Has like a crane bent over with labor
In search of you, O grant me this favor! 

Replies she quite merrily, I cannot!
Your choice you made in the promenade of
New York's great parade. Of me you have bought
The last ounce of kindness, drained the cellars
Of my store, which I abhor, down to a
Drop! The craven mind cannot take callers
Of your sort past noon in the day, in May
Especially! When green and gaiety
Are strewn about the streets in dead of night
They do little to abjure rarity
Of offense that I do take at your sight!
My heart still pleads with distrust to give you
One more chance, one chance to be my love true;
But one drop of kindness does not heal blight!

Turns she, or I, whichever you do think
To call the lady Ms. Perkenstien by,
About: her back to the caller. A chink
Of light does she espy in the black sky,
That runs down to meet her ruby red feet.
I do sigh to think this caller did keep
For years my likeness, while I have not wept.
In the silence I bore, as bores have slept,
The pain, and thought not at how we parted.
So turning back with mine eye on track I
Walk straight up to him, and say, you try
One more trick of love and you'll be carted
From these streets in an ambulance of red!
Love betrayed would rather be dead. 

Winks he to me, then let's die together
In these cobbled streets; undone am I now,
As a shirt is unbuttoned, a feather
Plucked from the bosom of fleeting sparrow,
How wretched am I, have I become these years
Of separation! Oh that you would lay
Down consternation for one night and fear
Not my loyalties: bypass what you say
In the heat of anger, that you may give
Over to my sobs of passion, these tears
I do weep in sorrow for past deeds! Live
But a night with me and I shall prove, clear
All suspicion from thy furrowed brows, and
Restore your heart; with this same broken band...

Then taking forth a polished ring of gold
He takes my hand, and further, he makes bold
To place this chink of history upon
My reddened finger; how dry does it now
Feel, likened to the leaves in autumn. Gone
Is the smoothness that once did line our bow,
That sturdy ship, that galleon, that vessel
Of pride: gone, as is a ton of water
That once distributed comes not back; well's
Do go dry if the summer's don't bother
With rain enough to keep them, maintain their
Luscious pull, their quench no longer sates
As once it was said to do in May. Fair
Grown maids and grooms fade in a sea of spates...

Now hearing shoals where sea gulls once did sing,
I look down, and do not frown, as once I
Did. Yet now, even now, this golden ring
Will not make up, cannot atone! You try,
Oh stalker, you midnight talker, you fiend,
You hardened flesh of memories gone by;
But no such luck will give the buck, this team
A second try; no matter if you die
From failure or no. Then looking into
His eyes of brown, I make to leave this town,
And journey back to my home in the blue
Of the maintain; there it is cool and frowns
Are turned upside down, from sun's golden hues.
But ere I leave he plucks upon my gown...

Grabs at my wrist, and then with a fist, he
Pulls me down to my knees. I cry out loud,
Cannot be cowed by his by brute force! Yet be
It by fate, or by circumstance, he bowed
His head and came down instead to be with
Me on the dirty street's of Nice. Thought I
At first I should have cursed at his great breadth
Kneeling there next to me in mud. Yet sky
Light now mixed with moonlight, and fixed on his
Face, did show contrition, and sobs of woe;
For where anger and fear bring out the hiss
Of men's burning wrath there too in the show
Of men's deadly woe is the aftermath.
Now I wonder at what his hand would hath... 

Letting go of his hold on me he falls
To the floor in a terrible heap. Calls
Out to me from the dirty ground, go now!
I have not done as I thought I should do
When first I came hence to see you; a sow
Would have better manners than to grab through
The barriers of consent as I have!
Then go, on your way! Leave me here till day,
Here to ponder my deeds in the dark ave
Of cobbled stone and reddened bricks; more strong
Are they than I, resilient to a fray,
Unbreakable by everyday means. Long
Shall they endure, unlike you and I. Say
What you like of me; henceforth, run away!

Towers of cedar and lemonade tea
Come running fast through my memory; such
A thought as this now comes here to me
At the mixed feeling of his troubled touch.
Could he remember, as I do, the sweet
And gentle love of L'Avenue de Pleine?
The taste of the finest baked goods, where sheets
Of smells did savor the air of Loriene?
For there on the ground as I gazed at him,
Seeing him new, broken, through all his sin,
Contemplating the feats, the man within,
Is the man of honor I thought to win!
And here he is, broken, admits he's beat;
I must gain confession: he must bleat...

Stand up Pierre, stand up and let me see
Who and what you are. You are not the he
That did divorce me some time ago; be
You not afraid that I speak of yee
In kinder tones than those we first exchanged.
For I had not then known: I was deranged,
Upset, frightened by your presence, and was
Prone to memories of the darkness. Because
Of these things I cannot with ease accept
Your friendship err the sun comes. Except
The single most astonishing feat you
Here accomplished, that of a dry lawn fish
That admits he's dry, I have not seen true
Love in you; but hope I might of you wish...

Shocking me, then and there, he did not stand,
He would not bear the shame and guilt of his
Downfall, made sharp by the rocks of our hands.
Rather instead he said, we were wed, kids
Never we did have; and happy now am
I for it, lest they be cut by the knife
Of divorcement. Said he to me then, ham
And cheese do not always go with the strife
Of the moment, do not always make good
Meal's for those tormented as you and I;
I cannot help by smile at his most wry
Expression of his soul through small means.
Then looking up at me he says to tie
All things to the past, let go of have beens...

Yet I for one still refuse to withdraw,
For kneeling there I see the shadow, brief
As it was, cross your brow as a great wall,
As a horde of ants do team the ground. Grief
Still lays hold of your mind, I say to him,
Let me see you home, stay not in the rim
Of this town. For though once upon a time
We did walk it merrily together,
We did not climb these streets without a rhyme
To keep up the beat of our hearts. Whether
You stay or you go I shall stay; until
You return to your home, are safe and sound,
Asleep, past the grief that your body still
Holds, I shall remain. I shall be your hound...

Then reaching out with my hand I grasp him,
With a vice like grip, that may ask him to
Respond to my touch; yet for what has been
I admit with some guilt that my cheeks sue
For pardon in my harsh words of old strife;
For they blush as red as an apples hue.
Was it not true? we had been man and wife
In time's long gone to the spring. And our yew
Strung bow we did promise to sing strong gave
Way in a snap that carried along our
Hearts and our souls: crushed our spirits. O brave
Though we were we could not get free from tar
That held fast to our minds and said forget
One another! for the best we shouted...

And in that memory of pain extend
I my hand to the man, for I did bend
Once upon a time to his rule and yoke
Until my spirit it changed and I broke.
Now his eyes look to mine, and they mirror
What they see; I see tears in mine own eyes,
Tears for what could have been. Though the terror
That drove me from your side long ago spies
Out from me night and day to restrain me
From returning your love for mine I can
Not help but know, believe, for you I pine.
As the hopes of the sea is all for land,
As the love of the hound is in the scent
At hand, I do have faith that you and I...

You and I what? I have lost my thought; for
You stand and blemish my mind. Where ought it
Should have been now stands a crater of time,
Made in that crevice of space and a mime
Could only discover the fullness of
It's true nature, could fit it to it's glove.
Now I walk you down the street to your home,
But you do not speak, instead you nod off
In the silence of red lights from the dome
Of a theater; sprites must have a loft
In that place, where they may spirit away
With the lover's speech that they may not say
What is on their minds except by physique.
O, that you would speak to me thou plastique!

You read my mind in the glare of red signs,
For turning to me you give me a sign;
You hand me your own ring, I gave it thee
When I was young, merry, and free to be
What I wanted to be in the sight of
Men and women that witnessed it given!
Why should you give up so sudden? driven
As you were but a while ago to glove
Me with your hand and reignite our bond?
Where is the sense in your gift? Respond! O
Please respond, for now I am all confused,
My mind is at a loss; I fear I loose
The meaning of all that I have said. You
Place a finger to my lips; remain true...

These are the words you spoke to me when time
Was young for us both on the gentle sea!
O how it was to walk barefoot with yee!
To sail in a boat that was yar and fine!
But suddenly my mind in erase, I
Sense your hands upon my face and I die
To the arguments within my head that
Say, be patient and wait another day!
I prepare to receive your kiss in sooth,
Yet none comes, and your lips remain aloof
As a sparrow in the sky that stays far
From the ground, or the fastest speeding car
Remains far ahead of blinking lights. Then,
With gentle words you console your own heart;
I begin to understand, here you part
With me for a while. O the ways of men!

One minute they burn, with passion they yearn,
For a woman's tender kiss they fondle;
O that they would return fair kiss in turn,
For that which they receive is often full
Of dubiousness, and looks for receipt.
So it is with you as look inside
To see, why the change? The loss of your pride?
Then you say, tomorrow, let me see you,
Tomorrow let me be as Shakespeare was
To his poetry and to his soul, true.
Let me not tonight having seen once more
Lead you into a passion; though adore
You I cannot but help, I fear that I,
A mere whelp, for your future love must try...

As I groan in frustration, a woman
Whose passion is let loose by your advance,
You grasp me by the shoulders, and my trance
Is doubled; though the grasp now shakes the man
I see, for you want of me a grantee.
As a deed is signed by the owner's pen,
So do you seek from me a seal; for men,
And women too, I'll confess, are not free
From the unpleasant distress of fear's touch.
So with your eyes you search me, and as much
With your hands you feel me out. My bosom
Heaves a sigh of hope that tomorrow some
New wonder, some new change, may be revealed;
The man I hated is now gone; healed. 

I realize now that the bond of old
Gleams in my hand; it is not cold, not dashed
By the fear I had moments before. Sold
May be houses before their owners, rash
With impatience and imprudence, do come
To dwell in them; so have I been undone.
My emotions ignited, my passion renewed
As summer that matures. As the winter's
Sentinel keeps off spring am I pursued
By the inevitable changes that surge
Through my heart at his new found change; at last,
He has returned to me! I lay down past
Grudges and hurts that I held before now.
The parade is past, now he and I, both bow.

We walk on in silence underneath moon
Lit Ray's; those same ones I thought did menace
Me in quays and inlets of the street's race.
Now we walk together, and very soon
We shall depart once more; for a moment
I feel, as trees, a sense of fulfillment!
As blossoms burst forth from trees in the spring.
I remember now the blossoms, where we,
By the shores of the sea took off, took wing!
I feel fulfilled as a green laced spring tree.
He stops, and I stop. I realize that
We've come to the end, blind as an old bat
Had I become wrapped up in him, and he
In me. His apartment is here. Sorry...

There and then our hands were entwined once more
By similar hopes and dreams. The score sore
From many years of fights and dreary pain
Was now lost in the sound of hurricane
Love. Is it love if it's lost and then found?
Can it be that love chased by the great hound
Might be caught once more and put into our
Grasp? But I sought it long and hard alone;
Through pain and sorrow that did often mar
The experience of my being. Stones
Had more life than we, separated from
One another. Now we find again drums
That beat our our name; yet they do not come
From our own hearts, but from the others sum. 

                                                  A Sharp Knife Made Dull, (c) Luke Bennette, May 2012

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