Submit Your Poems
Get Your Premium Membership

Best David Ellsworth Poems

Below are the all-time best David Ellsworth poems as chosen by PoetrySoup members

View ALL David Ellsworth Poems

123
Details | David Ellsworth Poem

Roots

They came yesterday, early as dawn itself

They came with shovels and trowels

To give protection from the winter

To the rose bushes that you loved

Shortly after lunch I heard Oliver barking

It was his angry bark, his sound of offense

For the worker was digging and exhumed

Your scarf from the tangled roots of roses

 

I gave the scarf to Connie, I remember

She was little then, five or so 

And she visited to ask for something of yours

To keep and remember

When she went home and her mother asked

What she had done at our house

She said, “I just sat on his lap

And helped him cry.”

 

It comes to me now, later she asked 

About the scarf again and I assumed she lost it

But now there was the evidence

Oliver also had a need to remember

And put his souvenir of you

Beneath the bushes you so loved

And the workman held the scarf to me

And I told him, “Put it back.”

 

He comes to me at night

It is his ritual of companionship

Sad-eyed and with mournful whimpering

He comes to my arms and licks my hand

And we are together before the fireplace

Watching shadows dance across the walls

Each remembering the moments that were ours

Each guarding a part of you in the roots of us


Details | David Ellsworth Poem

Watching you

Your eyes never opened after that last long kiss

You pulled the dark curtain of sleep about you

Your body fitted against mine in perfect configuration

And your hand upon my arm about you

We always fitted well in all things

What was it that you said?

“Do you know why God put those spaces between your fingers?”

And when I shrugged, you fitted your fingers between mine.

 

Watching you alone with yourself within your slumber

I came to realize that love can only be appreciated

When we imagine what we would be without it

And in that moment of my pondering

I discovered many things.

Your touch was more profound than a million hands in applause

And touching toes to be sure you were there 

Was a communication far superior to internet

 

I determined then that a kiss was indeed a luxury

And a moonlight whisper has more power

Than all the chants of protest across the world

Walking hand-in-hand had far more meaning

Than any three car garage

And your head resting upon my shoulder

Lightened all the weights of a troublesome life

And without you life itself would fade into obscurity

 

The complexities of life never altered the simplicity of us

We drove 200 kilometers just to eat at The Fat Duck at Bray

We camped overnight in the ruins of the old Cathar castle

In the hills beyond Limoux where we found the cave 

And when your father welcomed us into his home

But commanded that I sleep in a separate room

You told him, “He is my life now, you must understand”

And we slept at the Albergo al Viale and drank wine at breakfast

 

And all the wonders of my life were there

Lost in that nocturnal womb where I could not go

And when moonlight filtered through the limbs of trees

And decided to dance upon your face

I also learned that God could promise me nothing more

For my salvation was beside me and the gates of heaven

Opened with your eyes of morning

And my soul would come home again for another day


Details | David Ellsworth Poem

All things beautiful

I cannot put you into rhyme

You would refuse to go there

Having once said, “If you can describe love . . . . It isn’t”

And you are the same

I cannot dress you in words and do you justice

Adjectives fall upon themselves in the effort

And metaphors mumble in confusion

While searching for comparisons 

Because you were the source of it all

All things must be compared to you

And beauty should have bowed when you passed

 

Your smile was never like the sunrise

Rather, the sunrise imitated your smile

And when I saw stars reflected in your eyes

The stars were made more beautiful

Some men are correct to offer the compliment

“You look beautiful in that dress”

That was inappropriate with you and I would gasp

“That dress looks beautiful on you”

The standard of all things lovely lived in you

And with a glance the sister nymphs danced

And all was well in the kingdom of my soul

 

And so it is now . . . . now that you are gone

When leaves whisper about the wind

I know they gossip of why I walk alone

Why my arm reaches for the empty space beside me

And crickets spread rumors across the night

Even the streamlet frog grunts his agreement

 Because without you all things beautiful

Depend upon each other for definition

And grow lonely in the task

And I am composed of memories, nothing more

Repeating them like butterflies going home


Details | David Ellsworth Poem

You

it comes upon me 

like the invasion of evening shadows

when silence surrounds me 

and i realize i am alone with myself

and know i am poor company indeed

 

it comes as winds knife 

through the ribs of mountain rocks

bringing the tall grasses to shiver

like the departure of lost souls

beneath the faint thumbnail moon

 

it comes with the misty breath of frost

closing the world beyond my window

teaching me of isolation

from the distant glow of lamps and candles

where lovers speak in gasps and whispers

 

from the distant creek comes the sound of water

rattling against stones like kittens lapping

and it comes upon me once again

this consuming sense that has no name

so i think i’ll call it “you”


Details | David Ellsworth Poem

The city

It is a city with its lurid lights lavishing upon the night

Products hawked in gaudy neon

Street lamps form uniform circles upon the pavement

And traffic signals repeat themselves across the landscape

A man with flat eyes pulls a blanket about him 

And clutches his dog, he puts his shoes beside him

As if remembering when he had a bed

Whores mingle by the fire plug and eye the traffic

Their dignity sold by the hour 

And I walk there toward the same places

As every night

 

Jimmy told me that you came to the café

Even though you asked him to say nothing of your visit

He said you sat at our table and read a book

He took your order of a coffee and asked about me

And he said you looked very sad in that moment and shrugged

And so each night I walk past the café windows

Peering in like a street urchin and praying

To see your face or that you will look up to see mine

But you are not there

And the excitement of hope drains from me like wet ashes

 

I go to St. Joseph’s in the village 

And sit in the dark corner below the choir loft

Hoping you will come as we did each Sunday

But you do not.  You do not come

And I am happy to be in church

To pray for you, that blessings fill your days

And that I might be one of them

Then it is the garish flat where we knew love

To sit by the window and watch the night

Gather in the city like a troubled infant

And to dream of a soft knock at the door

And for our love to come home


Details | David Ellsworth Poem

The seasons of us

when winter comes and skeletons of trees

stand starkly upon the snow

i will think of you

and your head on my lap before the fireplace

skating on the gaunt, deep pond 

where we made love on brighter days

hot chocolate and fired brandies

and standing at windows while flurries fell

 

when it is spring again and trees bear promises

as islands of snow die slowly in their shadows

i will think of you

when all was alive again and you believed in us

within the world of nest-making and streams going home

making bouquets of foothill flowers

constantly profaning the word “forever”

and imagining that winter was forever gone

 

when summer is upon me with sweltering wrath

i will come to the forest where we walked and

i will think of you

where we were prone beneath the well dressed limbs

in a canopy above us, fitted into one another like lovers

by the quarry lake where you were covered in beads of water

and the sun loved you and glistened upon your body

where i looked at you as one would view sunsets or miracles

 

autumn will come with all its dark omens and i will walk 

upon the crisp leaves made spectacular by death

and i will think of you

where the earth wore its gaudy colors while ours had faded

into the murky hues of uneasiness and fear

and soon the trees will awaken alone and naked to the world

and i will understand their plight in a box called home

where once laughter lived and life was wonderful

 

there was a time before seasons and sentiment

when small, gentle hands covered my eyes with giggles

and you gasped, “oh, i’m sorry!  i thought you were someone else!”

i smiled then and replied, “i am.”

it was the spring of us that led into the caldron of summer passion

before time and treasons took their toll

before reality and reason tore the glitter from our eyes

and our autumn came that condemned us to our winter 


Details | David Ellsworth Poem

Forgetting

i will forget you

just as i have forgotten my first kiss

and third grade teacher

you will be forgotten

and sent into the backyard of my mind

and forbidden to return

 

i will turn away from the push cart

with purple asters 

and ignore gazebos and river walks

i will not go where people mingle in twos

and where apple blossoms touch the air

i will be too busy forgetting you

 

nothing will be related to you

not the key hook you forced into the wall

or the tablecloth you scorched

because you turned for a kiss

everything will be what it is

without a remnant of what was you

 

i will forget you

even when dreams resurrect us

and you take vengeance in your absence

i was forgetting you with another

but saw the baby robin peak from its nest

and excitedly said, “carol, look!”

 

i will forget you

through every temptation and hint

daisy fields and haystacks

the first green suggestion of spring

you returning to bed for “just a minute”

i will forget you

 

but not just now


Details | David Ellsworth Poem

Questions

Did I ever love you as much as I miss you?

Is your absence the source of my pain?

Or am I just weak and my heart insists to

Resurrect you again and again?

Are there secrets yet to discover

Only because of the misery I’ve felt

Until I’m too old to recover

And too selfish to forgive myself?

 

Our lives should be written in pencils

That we might erase and start over again

But would I choose a beginning more gentle

Or only change the way that it ends?

Would I invite you to be with me

Or erase the day that we met

Or stay lost in the depths of self pity

About you and this sense of regret


Details | David Ellsworth Poem

On nights like this

Half of the world is asleep

And black bellied clouds rest upon the mountains

Sending rain to punish my roof 

While heaven complains against the ebony night

Shadows dark as evil sprawl beneath the trees

And lovers laugh, dodging puddles as they run

 

Gutters gush, gargling the torrent

As half of the world is asleep on rumpled beds

While creatures watch from boughs and burrows

The sycamore slumps beneath the storm

Where a hawk is stranded on a sheltered limb

And streams and brooks boast beyond their bends

 

The scene is solemn beyond the window

Where rivulets slide, blending into each other like lovers

A glaring bolt slides over the peaks, through the clouds

And the clouds complain about it a moment after

As half of the world is asleep, but not me

I have too much forgetting to do about nights like this


Details | David Ellsworth Poem

The field

Soft breath winds crossed the field

Wildflowers bending in its reverence

Cottoned clouds in their endless journey

While the brook chattered over rocks

It was a secret place

Discovered on a Sunday walk

And later our place for picnics and passion

In the warm days of spring and new beginnings

 

Carrion crows gossiped from the stand of pines

Tall grasses hissed around the breeze

From somewhere a ewe called for a lamb

And the sun was gentle and generous

You would be there, on your back, eyes upward

Smiling at all that was 

Wishing that every day could be so wondrous

Until the splendor brought your tears of elation

 

And there was me . . . . sole witness of true grandeur

Found within the curve of your lip or winsome half smile

You were more glorious than the boastful clouds

More radiant than the sun against the brook stones

Far more gentle and fulfilling than the calming breeze

More easily loved than all of creation

For as the earth will one day consume me

So did you so long ago


123