The poet failed to compose the song,
Having loved her—almost to the point of wrong,
Because jealousy began to get in the way
Of anything the lover might say.
A song came through the poet’s open window one night
With a soft, creeping melody
Almost discernible, a snake made of light,
Softly undulating, insinuating itself beneath the bed
Where roses lived, to the ground’s delight.
Then a poem came into the poet’s head
As he dreamed. Nothing else happened that night.

The scent of flowers
Grew in the room during the night’s hours,
And in the morning filled the poet’s mind
With a beautiful scent, but no melody was there,
No melody in the poet’s head which reclined
Upon thick pillows—pillows oblivious to dreams.
There is no shape on the earth but it isn’t what it seems.
One window had light, but the rest
Were dark. Nothing else happened that day.

The wooded paths were long and the poet strode
Down them. He recalled the mare the two of them rode
When he and she were in love and the mare
Paused in a mist; a lake had been there
Where the poet now walked
Past where they had stopped and talked,
Past where they had put down a blanket and loved.
Put down a blanket and loved.
A scent of roses, there could be no doubt.
And the small birds wandered about.
The ruined boulevard.  Nothing else happened that day.

There is no poem but that a song can make it stay.
The poet would fail! Fail again! And fall out of love!
The day after the dream there was no song.
Nor a memory of a scent. Could a rose be wrong?


  1. J said,

    August 25, 2016 at 12:35 am

    I love lyrics like this. The images are so clear and strong, and you just pile one atop another until the weight of all their lovely music mounts up, then tumbles down in a rush.
    ‘Mare’ means lady horse, but it also means ocean, and spirit.
    But you knew that!

    • J said,

      August 25, 2016 at 12:36 am

      Oh, and PS–if the poet failed, the poetry succeeded in composing itself.

  2. thomasbrady said,

    August 25, 2016 at 10:04 am

    J, every poet needs a critic like you. Mare also as meer, the sea in German. Honestly, I hadn’t thought of that, when I wrote mare—though I’ve studied German (and read The Waste Land) and know meer means sea. Brilliant! Thanks, J.

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