When You Are Near

Another voice. A different perspective. After reading Rebecca Hazelton’s Questions About the Wife, those – I realized – were the necessary ingredients to stretch myself as a poet. But. I’ve been in love with Sara Teasdale’s verses for so long it’s almost like second nature to imitate the sound and feel of her lyrical love poems. Is it so bad, imitating a dead poet?

When You Are Near

Be still and gently rest
Your head upon my chest;
As crimson flecks speck your gray
Let us away
To a Neverland of Trojan tales
Where, drinking coffee and conversation
To dim the sundry past into oblivion,
We’ll translate Hamlet’s soliloquy
Into a syllogism of life’s marquee
While outside, the golden leaves
Gaily dancing, lead me to believe
That love leaps lightly over
Oceans and time and years
Amidst the throng of mortal fears.

But oh! Winter is arriving soon.
And though there’s time enough to reach the moon
This autumn tempest
Unnerves me so … lest
You catch an elfin beam and hear
The whisper of my soul when you are near.


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