SORROW AND JOY
SORROW AND JOY
We listened to a love song while we ate,
swallowing simple words, unquestioned
passports to our hearts; invading, possessing
our inner selves with the mellow, fashioned flow of a
voice that could touch us all, share her belief
that song is the measure and cure of grief.
What was it that made us blink, our noses run?
What sits across the tears of a lovers’ leap and a
mother’s tears of joy? And what of tears deployed
to deceive, to disguise a private celebration with
damp, red-ringed, rolling eyes, telling lies
with two fake teardrops, three false cries?
In the hidden midst of each of us, in the
dark inside where blood pumps, lungs heave,
where the brain’s million messages daily
flash hither thither, there must be a place where
passions meet, where senses, sentiments compete
in clashing gladiatorial feats.
There where lovers’ bodies boil, too hot to bear,
their tears flow to douse the flames of
love’s labours locked in fight – the cause perhaps
imagined merely, not really one that had begun
for any compelling reason. Yet, for their love,
autumn is the season and new leaves must
await a winter’s passage, while melancholy
sweetens in the early springtime sun.
And there a woman whose time has come
lays bare her being, screaming, pushing from
her deepest stores of strength and will;
the floods, the bursting of the river banks, now
all can flow, be washed away, her tears a
wave of thankfulness, draining off her pain.
Some trickle down her baby’s face; she
brushes each to leave a water trace.
And he who seeks to sway men’s minds
with slick displays of conjured tears
plies an ignoble trade; hiding words not his
inside his hat and singing notes plotted
on the palm of a hand; he might have
scratched his stories upon sea-washed sand.
He will be unmasked and kneel in time for
abusing the gentler of his kind.
So play again the song of joy and sorrow,
that cuts and moves with ease inside
to find that place of trysts and trials that
torments us in our very core. But we’ll
travel light on our journeys now we know
when true tears rise, just let them go.