SORROW IS THE VESSEL

Image result for green fields in modern painting

You’re not going to see happiness

Unless you see sorrow.

You won’t see what your criticism meant

Unless you criticize the president.

You won’t see how the world vainly exists

Unless you feel your own weak wrists.

Sorrow is the vessel we pour our happiness in.

The better our container of sorrow,

The more our nourishment overflows

Into the wet green fields tomorrow.

Every morning the big dog whines for his walk.

About the sickness. You and I really need to talk.

You cannot just receive happiness;

It must pour into your sorrow,

The pleasure must be caught in the jug;

The sad lovers will not lie down on the frayed rug

Unless they are sad.

Sorrow afflicts. Sorrow is always bad.

Do not scorn the tears

Which, to be caught, need the sorrow formed

By the clay of the long sad years.

The whole idea of containers is sad.

I would rather be free, and glad.

I don’t need this metal container, these train cars, these latches,

This heavy misery,

These buildings standing in my poetry,

These solemn village doors, these old, private pathways

Of routine and fatigue in dull nights and days

As we turn over to go back to sleep,

To wake, and travel to work, slowly, and back from work, slowly,

Sweating in the habit of ourselves which is gargantuan.

A little bit of sorrow? It will never win.

We must build a sorrow large

So the happiness knocking will know who is in charge.

Ah, misery. Ah, long shadows of vanity and art.

Always the work to be done. Everybody plays a part.

No one is finished. And when we die

We will think with our small eye

How we need, now, to eat and drink ravenously!

The need now that was banished, and now needs to stay.

But it’s too late.

We didn’t love our sorrow enough.

Our container melted in a medium of hate.

You know what I thought most sadly?

My lover would find happiness, and wouldn’t need me.

She would just stare. Or find a new song.

This would have been a good sorrow, if I had built it.

But I didn’t build it.

We didn’t make our poetry strong.

We were thirsty for so long.

We didn’t have enough sorrow to be happy.

We were not desperate enough

To cry out, and get love.

We didn’t consider our sorrow

Necessary.  You thought, “Tomorrow,

Great happiness will fall down.”

It did. But it wasn’t caught, by your memory, or your gown.

 

 

3 Comments

  1. maryangeladouglas said,

    February 26, 2020 at 3:09 am

    This is lovely, Thomas Graves;a fine work.

  2. maryangeladouglas said,

    February 26, 2020 at 3:14 am

    CLARION

    who wanted to live on a wrap around porch with a sea green awning

    yawning always waking from dreams to the honeycomb on the toast

    spread liberally

    could understand how it felt when the roses chimed exquisitely

    in the garden beyond all memories

    and the sun in egg yolk splendor rose to the occasion

    behind the nations of pine we called our own or

    making a tearose splash in the heavens, another backdrop formed;

    who is painting the scenes backstage we know cherishing

    the children remember the scent of grass when their grandfather

    cut the lawn and telstar roved behind violet clouds

    we were told to study hard and that all things tend toward delight

    when you are truly learning and we were

    such boarders on the pages ourselves full of the red rose

    random meteors

    and the speculative of clouds going over.like so many color forms

    soon without knowing anything of shadows anymore

    we know this may emerge out of a silk screened sky

    and cirrus lovely from

    the corner of the eye that is glad that

    we may see the traffic of angels on a sudden ladder suspended

    our flight trails cancelled on an endless tack deferred

    done with the faltering of old bridges on earth. oh then

    may we arise in Easter colours dyed our imaginations still holy

    in an arriving music invincible

    over the brief world with love with love

    looking, looking back.

    mary angela douglas 25 february 2020

    • maryangeladouglas said,

      February 26, 2020 at 6:25 am

      PERHAPS THEY THINK US SCATTERED

      perhaps they think us scattered

      but light itself is scattered like a veil of opals

      by God Himself through so many prismed raindrops

      all the time perhaps you think one thought does not connect

      to another in a reasonable blueprint in our minds

      but then we’re not making blueprints, but song

      and in the multiplicity of notes, the veering back

      to childhood themes and variations on a star

      we come to no decisive point but dissolve into dreams.

      and thus, we are happy in a world beyond our means.

      you in your scheming to deride us propose

      we are silly and will never attain the pinnacles

      while we admire the blue lights over the hills

      cast by twilights we can never cease warbling about

      you think from your armchair in your study the cigar smoke curling

      around

      your head in ordered hieroglyphics much to be admired.

      but I know the roses twine in me and in old stories of the antique

      kind

      there are so many primrose bordered paths that do not betray.

      what is so inconstant as woman grand operas say

      to the point of tedium. yet in our wandering, wondering souls

      God does at times make his abode and finds relief from schoolroom

      lectures

      in our multicoloured, our charmed and chattering gardens.

      mary angela douglas 26 february 2020


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