Monday, January 9, 2017

Beginnings and Endings

I Remember, All Right
with a nod to Thomas Hood
I remember, I remember
The room where I was born,
With its one window where the light
Seeped in like smog each morn;
The varied sounds from other rooms;
The shrill ring of the clock;
The drunkard's lurch; the toilet's wheeze;
The landlord's weekly knock.

I remember, I remember
The bed and walls smeared brown;
The sink that let the spiders up
But not the water down;
The gas stove in the corner where,
While still it was in use,
Our mother cooked our meals for us
And later cooked her goose.

I remember, I remember
The day my brother swung.
The judge excused a harsher doom
Because he was so young;
The day my sister married,
Just before she was a mother,
Exchanging servitude for slavery
And one room for another.

I remember, I remember
That once I saw a tree.
Though mute and anchored to one spot,
Somehow it was more free
And eloquent than we who live
And die in boarding rooms.
Trees do not slave for other trees
Or pass their lives in tombs.

Love is Not Love
with a nod to William Shakespeare
Let marriage not be spoken of, that bind
For pleasure-centered lives; love is not love
Which calls for constancy or contracts signed
Or self-control or any act above
Bed level; oh no, it has a one-track mind
Which gloats on verbs like "thrust" and "writhe" and "thresh"
And gloats on naked fronts and bare behinds.
It wants its instant bliss, its pound of flesh.
Love's no one's dupe; it won't be taken in
By talk of future joys and shared tomorrows.
It knows its onions: temperance is sin;
Who doesn't seize the day will sup deep sorrow.
If you can show that this is wrong and prove it,
I'll write no more and eat my hat and love it.

by Patrick H. Sheerin
in volume 5 issue 1

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