The Unsaid

Wind cuts through this January night
Slices like a knife through my meagre clothes:
Signs on the road hidden by an iron fog
The cry of the wind is all in vain
Nothing is the same.

I kiss you across this black hole in time.
In the old be-jewelled spider-webbed
way we kissed tender to kiss long,


Frost-filled graveyard remains
For the happily insane.

Yew trees shadow against the moon.
No trembling now from scattered runes
Eviscerated by all that time can do to human blood,
And hearts and lips and eyes and brains
In earth-infected graves there is no point in lies
No pretended disguise.

I  once kissed her on a night like this.
Held her close. Toasted her writh my eyes.
Shared an ancient consciousness of what it is
To be a woman, to be a man.

Trapped by mortality:
Nothing prepares us for this emptiness.
I stand alone in this freezing unghosted space
My insides squirming like a snake
As I try to make out a record of names and dates:
Unsoaked in perfume, unattended by lips like raspberries;
Tears do not leave my frost-whitened eyes
There is no disguise....

◄ Gérard Manley Hopkins SJ

A sonnet for an old friend ►

Comments

Profile image

John Marks

Sat 24th Apr 2021 02:39

Thank YOU Keith. J

Profile image

keith jeffries

Sat 24th Apr 2021 00:11

John,
Another poem, the quality of which takes the reader to be alongside the writer, to almost feel and share what is being said and experienced. Your use of the language, the depiction of scenes and such tender moments of intimacy seem to blend into a powerful part of personal history. The poem took me there. It was very cold.

Thank you for this

Keith

If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message