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Not All For Love: A Book of Poetry


  Not All For Love

  A Book of Poetry

  J.T. Marsh

  Copyright 2017 J.T. Marsh

  This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please encourage your friends to download their own copy from their favourite authorized retailer. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author in writing this book.

  1.

  The artlessness of love

  is appreciated by

  the young and the old,

  the poor and the rich,

  the intemperate and the chaste;

  it’s not an art

  to express love,

  but to be in love,

  in love the intoxicated

  feeling leading one

  to do things

  one would never do,

  to say things

  one would never say,

  becoming an act,

  putting on a performance

  for all the world to see,

  if only anyone were to look.

  In love, we become

  as actors, broken into

  creative circles,

  turning against our own,

  immersing ourselves

  in a role we know

  nothing about,

  our passion

  turning each of us

  into people other than

  who we are. But

  the passion inside us

  that gives

  becomes the art,

  by virtue of its hiding

  in each of us it an art

  no one will ever see but

  each of us in turn. It’s

  white teeth, blackened by

  the slick runoff of a

  closed boom floating on the

  water. We’re in love, trapped

  in love, drowning beneath a

  rising tide that subsides over

  time, in the meanwhile our

  wistful gazes forlorn and

  immaculately plain.

  2.

  In purity, there is

  devotion.

  In passion, there is

  enlightenment.

  In the forest, in the morning

  a mist floats through the

  thin beams of light

  penetrating the treetop

  canopy. In the forest,

  it seems like the Garden

  of Eden, with a light,

  ethereal music seeming

  to naturally float in the air. (So

  far, I’m not greyed-out, but

  looking like a force-landed

  fool, seeing action, but not

  active). In the forest, the

  morning’s mist fades into

  an afternoon’s warmth.

  Love becomes the mask

  we put on, the role we play,

  converting our selves into

  vessels through which our

  love can find expression,

  becoming instruments in

  which we serve some

  higher purpose, some

  loftier ideal. Don’t

  worry, our

  fleetingly fragile

  senses crossing the

  line, the already-blurred line

  between salvation and sin.

  Love blinds us

  to the goings-on in the world

  outside that narrow beam

  of light that our love

  casts on us, moments

  of truth illuminated, here

  and there, as they float through

  like specks of dust

  caught in a light breeze.

  Love takes us deep

  into a forest of self-indulgence,

  into a place hidden

  for all to see, notorious

  behind its own art, infamous

  for its own artlessness,

  saddled by its own

  promiscuity, its own faith. It’s

  tonight, through the night,

  under a gathering storm we

  find ourselves contemplating

  what lies ahead, unconcerned

  as we are with

  what lies behind us all.

  And love, once granted

  control over our selves,

  becomes our new religion,

  gaudy, evasive, scant, a

  night fighter variant acting as

  an early mark, seeing us

  through to the early morning’s light.

  In purity,

  we find meaning,

  we find truth,

  we find a whole

  we seek to make ourselves.

  3.

  A young woman

  is like a treasure,

  understated,

  vigorous,

  sublime.

  Her eyes, full of a hope

  that glitters in the morning’s sun.

  Her hair, shimmering

  in the pale moonlight.

  Her voice, like a song

  floating lightly through the mist.

  Her skin, smooth

  and soft to the touch.

  In the early-morning’s fog,

  I sometimes imagine

  I can hear her voice

  behind a foghorn that bellows

  with the passing of each ship

  along the river, heading out to sea,

  the sound of her voice hidden

  by the

  crashing of waves

  against a rocky shore.

  In beauty, there is truth.

  In truth, there is beauty.

  (But in what

  haphazard fashion

  do we assail, avail ourselves of

  love’s link to link’s lynx link?)

  A young woman

  is like a treasure,

  a treasure I’ve known all my life,

  a treasure I’ve yet to know,

  so pure and so elegant for the

  dull and coarse feeling of it all,

  gleaming in the afternoon’s sun,

  radiating a warmth,

  gliding effortlessly

  from one moment to the next

  as if floating on a cloud,

  a pristine, white cloud;

  if you look on her

  at just the right moment

  it might seem she’s

  perfectly still

  even as she’s

  moving so fast

  you can’t trap her in the

  moment, no matter

  how hard you try. This

  can’t happen, we all

  think, not here, not there,

  nor anywhere in-between,

  all those disclaimers

  making me want this

  even more.

  4.

  An amber glow,

  an pale green light,

  in the pale moonlight

  love seeming like a

  dance, an elegant

  waltz, set against an

  imagined melody.

  As our song fades

  into a rich, full silence,

  I drop to one knee,

  take her hand in mine,

  and pledge undying

  love for her, as if

  to seal the moment

  under a glass case

  of gravely-elected

  greetings, smug, pitiable.

  Unwavering devotion,

  it seems a noble pursuit,

  even as we live in a world

  where devotion is as

  criminal, as denounced.

  An amber glow,

  an pale green light,

  in the hot summer’s sun

  love radiating a

  warmth all-encompassing,

  rich, full, a warmth

  building slowly to

  a searing heat, a heat

  pregnant with an humidity,

  a heat that causes her blouse

  to cleave to her chest and

  her hair to become a

  tangled, matted mess.

  In her state, the heat

  accentuates her shapely,

  curvaceous figure, rousing

  in me a desire, a hunger

  for her hardly unlike

  a starving jackal in

  search of his next meal.

  An amber glow,

  an pale green light,

  in the heat of the moment

  nor can we resist our

  passions, nor can we

  keep ourselves from

  indulging in pleasures

  of the flesh, pleasures

  both subtle and gross.

  In her I find an

  spiritual release,

  of a kind that

  sure can’t be found

  in any other hall, in

  any other hearth, like a

  fire’s theatre playing for an

  empty hall, standing-room

  only, each seat filled with

  a thinly-veiled outline of the

  people who were

  never there.

  5.

  Passion lies in the essence

  of fire, of the flames

  cautiously searching for

  just the right spot at

  the centre of it all,

  anxiously crawling

  along the edges,

  young, impudent,

  at the whim of things

  it cannot know. But

  on reaching some

  unknowable stage in its

  adolescence, passion,

  as with the flames,

  becomes confident,

  arrogant, even,

  relentlessly attacking

  with no regard for itself,

  consuming everything

  within its reach,

  aggressive,

  domineering,

  yet vulnerable

  in ways it cannot know.

  At full strength, passion,

  as with the flames,

  comes to acquire its

  victory, fantastically

  finding favour far from

  where favour’s usually found.

  There sometimes comes

  a point when our passion,

  as with the flames,

  suddenly become stronger,

  as if by a dial turned all the way up,

  surging, burning hot, as if

  to set the whole world alight.

  And when our passion

  burns itself out,

  it leaves behind

  a smouldering wreck,

  a blackened husk,

  a heap of debris

  left as a warning

  to all who might be

  tempted to give in

  to their hearts’ most

  intemperate demands.

  We willingly,

  enthusiastically

  subject ourselves to

  the terror,

  the panic,

  immersing ourselves

  in the flames of passion,

  given as we are

  to the noble pursuits

  of the heart.

  Addendum.

  We see love as noble,

  but our love can never be

  as noble as what we see.

  6.

  In a state of mind,

  not altogether far from

  the drunken tomfoolery

  we sometimes find ourselves in,

  it’s easy to forget

  the special times we’ve had,

  all the intimate moments

  and the embarrassing secrets

  we’ve shared under the

  influence of the

  insidious, malodorous

  intoxication we call love.

  We mistake ourselves

  for passionate lovers,

  when, in fact, we are

  governed by little more

  than toxic mix of feelings

  stewing about inside each of

  our selves, like some

  industrial,
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