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At Heaven's Gate - Parts 1 and 2

Terry O'Leary Avatar Terry O'Leary - Premium MemberPremium Member Send Soup Mail  Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled At Heaven's Gate - Parts 1 and 2 which was written by poet Terry O'Leary. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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At Heaven's Gate - Parts 1 and 2

PART 1:          THE MEETING

Alone one night neath lantern light, I trudged a weary mile.
Forlorn, I went with shoulders bent (the storms around me howled)
until I met a Silhouette behind a sultry smile – 
She gazed with eyes that mesmerize (Her body caped and cowled)
and stayed my way with question fey... ‘Why don’t you while awhile?’

The churchyard groaned, an organ moaned, the bells of midnight chimed
as wanton winds awoke and dinned, and mistrals multiplied.
A prostitute – not shrill but mute, with gestures pantomimed –
snuck by in haste, with tracks untraced, beneath the evening tide.
The Persian moon, like arced harpoon, arose and slowly climbed.

The Silhouette (a pale brunette) arched eyebrows meant to please,
and down the lanes, twixt windowpanes, the shadows danced and sighed.
A meadowlark within the dark, somewhere beyond the breeze,
embellished Her with wisps of myrrh while deigning to confide
to nightingales the whispered tales of human vanities.

She doffed her cloak before She spoke with tunes of sorrow sung
(like mandolins, as night begins, when mourning day’s demise)
and spun Her tale of grim travail and tears She'd shed when young.
As jagged volts of thunderbolts lit up the dismal skies,
the creeping fog concealed a bog in coils of curling tongues.

Through summer vales and winter gales Her secret thoughts were voiced.
Midst storms so cruel (neath lightning’s jewel that glistered on the ridge)
She reminisced, She touched... we kissed... Her lips were wet and moist.
A lighthouse dimmed, while moonbeams skimmed across a distant bridge
to avenues where residues of shallow shades rejoiced.


“Midst sweet perfume of youthful bloom, the lonely spirit braves
and often cries and sometimes dies in quest of her amour.”

While starry-eyed, a ship I spied, a’ sail upon the waves –
The galleon docked, the seagulls flocked, the Captain swept ashore
where, debonair with gypsy flair, he led his salty knaves.

While passing by, he caught my eye – I tried to hide a blush,
for ambiance of innocence leaves fire’s ice congealed.
His gaze (defined by eyes that shined) beheld my cheek a’ flush.
I bowed my head while caution fled, I felt my fate was sealed
– a bird in spring with fledgling wing – he’d snared a  falling thrush.

He said ‘Hello’ – I answered ‘No’ and yet before he’d gone
said I, ‘I’ll wait at Heaven’s Gate not far beyond the Pale’.
At dusk he came neath moon aflame, and left before the dawn
just humming tunes along the dunes that lined the sandy trail
beside a pond where morning yawned, where swam an ebon swan.

We met again, and once again, and once again, again
entangled in a love called sin, in whirls of make-believe.
While in my arms, with voice that charms, said he ‘I must explain –
the tide awaits at morning’s gates and I must take my leave’.
Then tempests formed and vapors swarmed in ardor’s hurricane.

‘Forsake your home and we may roam’ he smiled as if to tease
and still naive, said I ‘I’ll leave, in silver buckled shoes’.
He took the helm in search of realms, before the morning breeze –
with tearful eyes, I bade goodbyes with fare-thee-well adieus 
and sailed above a wave of love across the seven seas.

We swept one morn around Cape Horn and sped for Gold Coast Bay.
With naught to reck, I strolled on deck, a baby at my breast,
while zephyrs blew and seagulls flew above the ocean’s spray.
Our ship soon moored, we went ashore and off to Fortune’s Quest –
with gold doubloons which shone like moons, he gambled through the day.

Two deuces wild... he thinly smiled... another card was drawn –
he called and raised with eyes half glazed, was dealt a dismal three.
With betting tight throughout the night, the final ace was gone
and so he lost... at what a cost... alas the prize was me –
with empty bag and pauper’s swag, he left me doomed at dawn.

A buccaneer with ring in ear sneered ‘now, my dear, you’re mine’.
He held my wrists to thwart my fists and then... my honor stained.
In midnight’s swash, the sky awash with tiny tears of brine,
I broke his clutch with nothing much of me that still remained:
a residue when he was through, left clinging to a vine.

In morning dew, the good folks knew, and spurned me in my plight.
The preacher man pronounced a ban and wouldn’t condescend,
ignored my pleas on bended knees and prayers by candlelight.
While cast aside, my baby died... my world was at an end.
Until this day, I’ve made my way beneath the shades of night.

Continued in Part 3

Copyright © Terry O'Leary

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  1. Date: 12/3/2013 7:43:00 AM
    A compelling tale, Terry. Swept up by the imagery, while gliding along with the rhyme. I'll have to read the last intriguing tale, for sure! Keep well,,,Mikki

  1. Date: 10/31/2013 5:18:00 PM
    wow what a cool story & I enjoyed the internal rhyme greatly, you know it's 95% in past tense but here and there it's not, that being said I really would love to see the whole thing drawn into present tense it would be so much more of a visceral 'ride' for the reader! Light & Love

  1. Date: 9/24/2013 8:56:00 AM
    This is great, I'm going to part three. Lucilla

  1. Date: 9/4/2013 10:20:00 AM
    This holds us riveted to the page... going to part 3.

  1. Date: 9/1/2013 4:21:00 PM
    Terry, Wow, another wonderful poem. You know that I don't usually read long poems but yours are so richly flavored and deliciously written I can't stop until I have consumed the whole thing. Your poems are a delight.

  1. Date: 8/12/2013 8:05:00 PM
    'Beautiful and brilliantly written'

  1. Date: 7/27/2013 11:38:00 PM
    Terry, I chuckled at your 'profiling' comment. After reading parts 1 and 2 here, methinks your muse might be as enigmatic as your personality. I seem to naturally profile; have done so since I was young. And you remain quite enigmatic, so don't worry....too much ha! Ok, I am venturing over to the third part now.

  1. Date: 7/11/2013 11:38:00 AM
    Been Fav'd once again. Splendid read! The story, the flow, the rhyme....

  1. Date: 7/10/2013 8:15:00 PM
    I'm back to have another read xxx

  1. Date: 6/24/2013 3:22:00 PM
    I so love this Terry,,, going to fav's

  1. Date: 6/10/2013 10:37:00 AM
    A greatly written monorhyme Terry

  1. Date: 6/8/2013 3:06:00 PM
    Terry, enjoyed your story with it's rhyme and flow and drama. I think this work of art will stand the test of time...Dave

  1. Date: 6/6/2013 6:01:00 AM
    You amaze me, Terry, the way you can tell stories like this. BTW. what flag do you sail under?-Red

  1. Date: 6/5/2013 6:46:00 AM
    Captivating work. Great reading and pulls the reader, with anticipation, to part 3.... Jake

  1. Date: 6/4/2013 12:13:00 PM
    I sat her riveted from start to finish, it goes in my book of fav, it's one of the best poems I've read in a long long while, you are an amazing story teller, thank you for sharing this, on the next part, the end xxx love xxx

  1. Date: 6/3/2013 4:39:00 AM
    ..... wooow ..... beautiful ..... must read next ....

  1. Date: 6/2/2013 5:56:00 AM
    Well written piece!

  1. Date: 6/1/2013 7:40:00 AM
    This is amazingly complicated and you have do a stunning job. You should be very proud of this piece. Off to read part three.

  1. Date: 5/30/2013 12:17:00 PM
    Intricate rhymes, perfect meter, and gorgeous language--and a fascinating plot to boot! You never cease to amaze!

  1. Date: 5/25/2013 3:44:00 AM
    great poetry mate....