Avenge me not, for death has been a friend
and anger ill befits love's gentle wine.
All lovers true or not, must part, ascend:
rise, or fall, as life's trials their paths assign.
Still as bone, white as winter's snow my skin
by candle light, one can almost see inside.
My hair a gossamer halo, so thin,
my eyes, my blue eyes, still contain the tide.
I am your fair Persephone, your wife, bride,
and soon I will return to you Hades
to rise born on cherry blossom tides;
when in the earth, I can no longer bide.
Bless gentle Thanatos for his death sublime
and Hypnos, as in sleep, I do recline.
I shall nay know all the wonders - you hold
For all too soon the winds of winter blow
Scarlet petals withering in the snow
How cruel the breath that kills the velvet rose
Tears - that canst’ bear the thought of letting go
Forever frozen in this empty soul
A broken heart forever turned to stone
A broken stem left now to stand alone
Alas! I find that life is bitter-sweet
As I stand holding only memories
Of a rose blooming in the summer breeze
Here beneath this old weeping willow tree
Once I held the sweetest rose - ever born
Now – in my grief – I hold the bitter thorn.
Author: Elaine George
Here in the final pages of her life
She stops to rest a spell on empty lines
Reflecting on the chapters left behind
In valleys of a mind deep in contrite
Where shadows battle with a blinding light
Conflicting egos fighting on through time
Their argument life’s reason and life’s rhyme
They battle for the end that she must write
Two equal pens held tightly in her hand
Tears mingle with the ink spots on the page
One pen telling truth one pen telling lies
Her bleeding words like footprints in the sand
On lines between a novice and a sage
One pen she puts to death before she dies
Author: Elaine George
Written: April 20th, 2014
For Miltonic Sonnet Contest sponsored by: Craig Cornish
Awarded: First Place
I wait while wandering in empty dreams,
where everyone is lost and dying slow.
And in the distance are, unheard, the screams
of anguished souls I’ll never come to know.
The winds blow hot or cold here, rarely cool.
Leaves flutter out of sight, disintegrate.
Relief, if ever found, is minuscule.
I do not even know for what I wait!
I’m drifting with the leaves as they change hue,
concealed among them as they fall to ground.
And as they crumble, I’ll be crumbling too,
alone (as souls unknown hear not my sound).
And still I roam inside this wait I keep,
unwilling to awaken from this sleep.
She looks around the room with worried eyes.
So many things are missing. What became
of all her pretty clothes? With great surprise
she notices her dresser’s not the same.
The fancy music box that held her pearls
is missing too from where it used to sit
beside the picture of her precious girls
there on the dresser. What became of it?
She hears her husband walking toward the room
and cries out as she sees him on the stair.
He lies down on their bed. She feels his gloom,
and then she knows. . . . He cannot see her there!
She lingers, helpless, knowing she must go,
yet hears him sob, “My love, I miss you so.”
Written for Susan Burch's "Missing" Poetry Contest
O God, to see let go and not atone,
And not forestall that misery disguised:
This misfortune is mine and mine alone,
And to that end I have philosophised!
Not to the wider picture tomorrow,
But to the Sword of Damocles on high:
To love's memory from which we borrow
And to know what it means to live and die!
Live and let be - for the end usurps all
But expunges not the considered heart:
There is no wider picture - just a pall
Of residual sadness for my part.
I am not best reasoned to reason why
That in death there are lessons to live by.
On pale horse a pale rider in the sun,
Who makes his own our last valiant breath;
And on your grave sing the owl and raven
In the shadows of the valley of death!
Where no graven image rise from its bones,
Only a cold wormwood wind on death row
That pipes through the rushes and the tombstones,
Where all that remains is what lies below.
But more, far more than this, your time to me!
To that bosom of child, mother, and sire:
Carried away by a higher glory
On flaming wheels - in chariots of fire.
Not hearts, not tongues bespoken go unsworn
When Death comes to blow his wreathed hollow horn.
Will you be loving me ‘til time is naught?
Your fingers only know of suppleness,
will they not flinch to touch skin wrinkle-fraught?
My beauty withers, cup reached emptiness…
Your love has set my heart aglow, renewed
‘tis ev’rytime your words lave over me...
Like soothing rain on desert sand subdued,
I soak it in, drunk for eternity
Do forgive me, for ever doubting you,
this pain has ravaged me, yet you’re still here.
‘Tis I you love, this I now know so true,
please stay with me, for death creeps in so near
Let saccharine lips meet for one last time
The windows close now, yet leave love sublime
Let Me Go First
Gravity's getting stronger every year
and my final day here is beckoning.
My sure demise holds nothing that I fear
more than the pain that losing you will bring.
I beseech you love, let me lead the way,
I'll find that gentle place; return to dust,
don't leave me first, not for a single day,
just let me go and join me when you must.
Our lives, our love so very entertwined,
One mind, one heart two bodies came to share,
unbreakable these satin ties that bind,
I must go first and leave them in your care.
It was ordained the morning of my birth,
to love you 'till I lie beneath the Earth.
Burnished bronze, tarnished teal,
flare warnings yield to winds of steel.
Their urge to jump, to flee and hide
cuts off the warmth for suicide.
They leap and land at such a cost,
far flung debris- refulgence lost.
They shrivel brown, dark fibers done,
decay beneath the wayward sun.
Their shredded shells in supine piles,
small hells ignite by human wiles.
Gray smoking wraiths slip out to sigh,
soar off to smear the flannel sky.
Green progeny will take their turn.
One chance to live is what they earn.