Wednesday, May 25, 2016

On the Continent of Love Lost



author's note:

With regret, I cut this stanza from the poem below, for the sake of continuity:

and because someone
usually wants to punch us
after we've written "loss is gain"
we know our words
must be accurate arrows.


ON THE CONTINENT OF LOVE LOST

She said
her heart had exiled her writing
to the land of love lost.

But I told her
that land need not be the island--
it can be the continent:

on the island
when we write of love lost
we write of the garden lost
we write of childhood lost

and we also write of that
on the continent
but we add:
we must lose the garden
in order to evolve.

On both the island
and the continent, we write
of the confusion of love lost

but on the continent
we write of the drive
to find our way back home.

On the island, we write
of returning
and not knowing
the one we once loved.

But on the continent
we write of returning
and again knowing the one within.

On the island
we write of open wounds
that refuse to mend

but on the continent
we write of how
those open wounds
can lead us down
to the deep wounds:

we write of mending
of mending all the way down--

we write of gaining from loss.

On the island
we're afraid of losing--
of losing again

and we're also afraid
on the continent--
despite all our gains:

we're afraid of a love
we can not escape
a love we can not release
a love we can not hold--

we're afraid
yet willfully go ahead
because we know we must.

All this I told her
but then admitted:
I don't always inhabit
the continent

but when I do, I'm able to honor
the past and the present
with memorials and celebration:

memorials
because on the continent
we refuse to ignore our grief

and celebration
because on the continent
even shadows have light.



© 2016, Michael R. Patton
finding Beauty: the book

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