When I taught you
at eight to ride
a bicycle, loping along
as you wobbled away
on two round wheels,
my own mouth rounding
in surprise when you pulled
ahead down the curved
path of the park,
I kept waiting
for the thud
of your crash as I
sprinted to catch up,
while you grew
smaller, more breakable
for your life, screaming
the hair flapping
behind you like a
Oh, Morpheus, give me joy till morning
For my forever painful love:
Just blow out candles' burning
And let my dreams in blessing move.
Let from my soul disappear
The separation's sharp rebuke!
And let me see that dear look,
And let me hear voice that dear.
And when will vanish dark of night
And you will free my eyes at leaving,
Oh, if my heart would have a right
To lose its love till dark of evening!
You will hear thunder and remember me,
And think: she wanted storms.
Of the sky will be the colour of hard crimson,
And your heart, as it was then, will be on fire.
That day in Moscow, it will all come true,
when, for the last time, I take my leave,
And hasten to the heights that I have longed for,
Leaving my shadow still to be with you.
Dying! To be afraid of thee
One must to thine Artillery
Have left exposed a Friend --
Than thine old Arrow is a Shot
Delivered straighter to the Heart
The leaving Love behind.
Not for itself, the Dust is shy,
But, enemy, Beloved be
Thy Batteries divorce.
Fight sternly in a Dying eye
Two Armies, Love and Certainty
And Love and the Reverse.
Should the wide world roll away,
Leaving black terror,
Nor God, nor man, nor place to stand
Would be to me essential,
If thou and thy white arms were there,
And the fall to doom a long way.
I sit here, an arch-villain of romance,
thinking about you.
Gee, I'm sorry
I made you unhappy, but there was nothing
I could do about it because I have to be free.
Perhaps everything would have been different
if you had stayed at the table or asked me
to go out with you to look at the moon,
instead of getting up and leaving me alone with
Sir Walter Scott
So goodbye, Mrs.
I am going out of town,
Over dale, over down,
Where bugs bite not,
Where lodgers fight not,
Where below your chairmen drink not,
Where beside your gutters stink not;
But all is fresh and clean and gay,
And merry lambkins sport and play,
And they toss with rakes uncommonly short hay,
Which looks as if it had been sown only the other day,
And where oats are twenty-five shillings a boll, they say;
But all's one for that, since I must and will away.
as the poems go into the thousands you
realize that you've created very
it comes down to the rain, the sunlight,
the traffic, the nights and the days of the
years, the faces.
leaving this will be easier than living
it, typing one more line now as
a man plays a piano through the radio,
the best writers have said very
and the worst,
far too much.
from ONTHEBUS - 1992
There will be thunder then.
Say ‘ She asked for storms.
’ The entire
world will turn the colour of crimson stone,
and your heart, as then, will turn to fire.
That day, in Moscow, a true prophecy,
when for the last time I say goodbye,
soaring to the heavens that I longed to see,
leaving my shadow here in the sky.
Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi
Wonderer, worshipper, lover of leaving.
It doesn’t matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow
a thousand times
Come, yet again, come, come.
- Rumi Homepage
The stone-built villages of England.
A cathedral bottled in a pub window.
Cows dispersed across fields.
Monuments to kings.
A man in a moth-eaten suit
sees a train off heading like everything here
for the sea
smiles at his daughter leaving for the East.
A whistle blows.
And the endless sky over the tiles
grows bluer as swelling birdsong fills.
And the clearer the song is heard
the smaller the bird.
It's easy to invent a Life --
God does it -- every Day --
Creation -- but the Gambol
Of His Authority --
It's easy to efface it --
The thrifty Deity
Could scarce afford Eternity
To Spontaneity --
The Perished Patterns murmur --
But His Perturbless Plan
Proceed -- inserting Here -- a Sun --
There -- leaving out a Man --
White King City I left at dawn
in the morning-glow of the clouds;
The thousand miles to Chiang-ling
we sailed in a single day.
On either shore the gibbons' chatter
sounded without pause
While my light boat skimmed past
ten thousand sombre crags.
The road is my wedded companion.
She speaks to me under my feet all
day, she sings to my dreams all night.
My meeting with her had no beginning, it begins endlessly at
each daybreak, renewing its summer in fresh flowers and songs, and
her every new kiss is the first kiss to me.
The road and I are lovers.
I change my dress for her night
after night, leaving the tattered cumber of the old in the wayside
inns when the day dawns.
Your words dropped into my heart like pebbles into a pool,
Rippling around my breast and leaving it melting cool.
Your kisses fell sharp on my flesh like dawn-dews from the limb,
Of a fruit-filled lemon tree when the day is young and dim.
But a silence vasty-deep, oh deeper than all these ties
Now, through the menacing miles, brooding between us lies.
And more than the songs I sing, I await your written word,
To stir my fluent blood as never your presence stirred.
Desire, first, by a natural miracle
United bodies, united hearts, blazed beauty;
Transcended bodies, transcended hearts.
Two souls, now unalterably one
In whole love always and for ever,
Soar out of twilight, through upper air,
Let fall their sensous burden.
Is it kind, though, is it honest even,
To consort with none but spirits-
Leaving true-wedded hearts like ours
In enforced night-long separation,
Each to its random bodily inclination,
The thread of miracle snapped?
Rainer Maria Rilke
Some day, if I should ever lose you,
will you be able then to go to sleep
without me softly whispering above you
like night air stirring in the linden tree?
Without my waking here and watching
and saying words as tender as eyelids
that come to rest weightlessly upon your breast,
upon your sleeping limbs, upon your lips?
Without my touching you and leaving you
alone with what is yours, like a summer garden
that is overflowing with masses
of melissa and star-anise?
Many thousand glittering motes
Crowd forward greedily together
In trembling circles.
Extravagantly carousing away
For a whole hour rapidly vanishing,
They rave, delirious, a shrill whir,
Shivering with joy against death.
While kingdoms, sunk into ruin,
Whose thrones, heavy with gold, instantly scattered
Into night and legend, without leaving a trace,
Have never known so fierce a dancing.
That is solemn we have ended
Be it but a Play
Or a Glee among the Garret
Or a Holiday
Or a leaving Home, or later,
Parting with a World
We have understood for better
Still to be explained.
Yes, I know, this is nothing but thy love,
O beloved of my heart---this golden light that dances upon the leaves,
these idle clouds sailing across the sky,
this passing breeze leaving its coolness upon my forehead.
The morning light has flooded my eyes---this is thy message to my heart.
Thy face is bent from above, thy eyes look down on my eyes,
and my heart has touched thy feet.
'Tis but a day we sojourn here below,
And all the gain we get is grief and woe,
And then, leaving life's riddles all unsolved,
And burdened with regrets, we have to go.
Full moon rising on the waters of my heart,
Lakes and moon and fires,
Holding her lips apart.
Promises of slumber leaving shore to charm the moon,
Miracle made vesper-keeps,
And I'll be sleeping soon.
Cloine, curled like the sleepy waters whtere the moonwaves start,
Radiant, resplendently she gleams,
Lips pressed against my heart.
Whether it was putting in an extra beat,
or leaving one out, I couldn't tell.
My heart seemed to have forgotten
everything it ever knew
about timing and co-ordination
in its efforts to get through to someone
on the other side of a wall.
As I lay in bed, I could hear it
hammering away inside my pillow,
being answered now and then
by a distant guitar-note of bedsprings,
pausing for a moment, as if listening,
Then hurrying on as before.
She sped as Petals of a Rose
Offended by the Wind --
A frail Aristocrat of Time
Indemnity to find --
Leaving on nature -- a Default
As Cricket or as Bee --
But Andes in the Bosoms where
She had begun to lie --
Alas! my wasted life has gone to wrack!
What with forbidden meats, and lusts, alack!
And leaving undone what 'twas right to do,
And doing wrong, my face is very black!