Inspiration: John Suckling

Send Back My Heart
By John Suckling

I prythee send me back my heart,
Since I can not have thine:
For if from yours you will not part,
Why then should’st thou have mine?

Yet now I think on’t, let it lie;
To find it were in vain,
For thou’st a thief in either eye
Would steal it back again.

Why should two hearts in one breast lie,
And yet not lodge together?
Oh Love! where is thy sympathy,
If thus our breasts thou sever?

But love is such a mystery,
I cannot find it out:
For when I think I’m best resolved,
I then am in most doubt.

Then farewell care, and farewell woe,
I will not longer pine;
For I’ll believe I have her heart
As much as she has mine.

Published in Love is a Poem (1962), an obscure anthology published by Peter Pauper Press I found in my in-laws’ house over the holidays. I’d never heard of John Suckling but I enjoyed the simple meter of this poem and the willful delusion at the end.

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Inspiration: Amy Lowell

Patterns
By Amy Lowell

I walk down the garden paths,
And all the daffodils
Are blowing, and the bright blue squills.
I walk down the patterned garden paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
With my powdered hair and jewelled fan,
I too am a rare
Pattern. As I wander down
The garden paths.

My dress is richly figured,
And the train
Makes a pink and silver stain
On the gravel, and the thrift
Of the borders.
Just a plate of current fashion,
Tripping by in high-heeled, ribboned shoes.
Not a softness anywhere about me,
Only whale-bone and brocade.
And I sink on a seat in the shade
Of a lime tree. For my passion
Wars against the stiff brocade.
The daffodils and squills
Flutter in the breeze
As they please.
And I weep;
For the lime tree is in blossom
And one small flower has dropped upon my bosom.

And the splashing of waterdrops
In the marble fountain
Comes down the garden paths.
The dripping never stops.
Underneath my stiffened gown
Is the softness of a woman bathing in a marble basin,
A basin in the midst of hedges grown
So thick, she cannot see her lover hiding,
But she guesses he is near,
And the sliding of the water
Seems the stroking of a dear
Hand upon her.
What is Summer in a fine brocaded gown!
I should like to see it lying in a heap upon the ground.
All the pink and silver crumpled up on the ground.

I would be the pink and silver as I ran along the paths,
And he would stumble after,
Bewildered by my laughter.
I should see the sun flashing from his sword-hilt and the buckles on his shoes.
I would choose
To lead him in a maze along the patterned paths,
A bright and laughing maze for my heavy-booted lover,
Till he caught me in the shade,
And the buttons of his waistcoat bruised my body as he clasped me,
Aching, melting, unafraid.
With the shadows of the leaves and the sundrops,
And the plopping of the waterdrops,
All about us in the open afternoon
I am very like to swoon
With the weight of this brocade,
For the sun sifts through the shade.

Underneath the fallen blossom
In my bosom,
Is a letter I have hid.
It was brought to me this morning by a rider from the Duke.
“Madam, we regret to inform you that Lord Hartwell
Died in action Thursday sen’night.”
As I read it in the white, morning sunlight,
The letters squirmed like snakes.
“Any answer, Madam,” said my footman.
“No,” I told him.
“See that the messenger takes some refreshment.
No, no answer.”
And I walked into the garden,
Up and down the patterned paths,
In my stiff, correct brocade.
The blue and yellow flowers stood up proudly in the sun,
Each one.
I stood upright too,
Held rigid to the pattern
By the stiffness of my gown.
Up and down I walked,
Up and down.

In a month he would have been my husband.
In a month, here, underneath this lime,
We would have broke the pattern;
He for me, and I for him,
He as Colonel, I as Lady,
On this shady seat.
He had a whim
That sunlight carried blessing.
And I answered, “It shall be as you have said.”
Now he is dead.

In Summer and in Winter I shall walk
Up and down
The patterned garden paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
The squills and daffodils
Will give place to pillared roses, and to asters, and to snow.
I shall go
Up and down,
In my gown.
Gorgeously arrayed,
Boned and stayed.
And the softness of my body will be guarded from embrace
By each button, hook, and lace.
For the man who should loose me is dead,
Fighting with the Duke in Flanders,
In a pattern called a war.
Christ! What are patterns for?

Amy Lowell, “Patterns” from The Complete Poetical Works of Amy Lowell. Copyright 1955 by Houghton Mifflin Company, renewed 1983.

data entry

IMG_5246

this is peace, i think
that delving into data
soothes my mind with details.
and there is something about this data,
tiny insects waiting to become
numbers in a spreadsheet,
the resistance of pins
entering metallic bodies,
the almost-silent sound of my fingers
brushing against wings
that no longer flutter,
reminding me of what i am,
we are.

Poem by Annie Jadin, speakingvoiceless.wordpress.com.

Written for the peace challenge on dverse.

Untitled XV

I do not want to learn your way of writing
though I can taste your thoughts,
smooth pearls spilling from translucent shells,
their saltiness roughening my skin.

Poem by Annie Jadin, speakingvoiceless.wordpress.com.

Written for the synethesia challenge on dVerse. Check it out!

Untitled XIV

I want to tell you that you saved me
but I am a woman and that would not be roaring.
There is this little bit of pride, too,
this feeling that I could save myself,
if I had to
(if I wanted to)
but we both know that’s a lie…
except I am this curious mix of needing to be saved
and really, actually…fine.

Poem by Annie Jadin, speakingvoiceless.wordpress.com.

New poem: Beauty, published in Reverie

BEAUTY

He told me I was beautiful
but blunt fingers rearranged my shapes
and the difference in our masses
collapsed my vertebrae
into their impressions.
I thought,
“I am no longer
beautiful.”

But the next one told me
I was beautiful
and the next
and the next
and I thought beauty was vulnerability
scars laid down like onions reassembling.

“You are beautiful”, he says
and it’s almost not a crime
as I unravel
with the tearing of my clothes
and there is nothing left
for him to do.

Poem by Annie Jadin, speakingvoiceless.wordpress.com.

This poem has just been published in the first issue of Reverie magazine released today! Check it out! The entire magazine will be available free for Amazon Kindle Oct. 10-14, and costs $0.99 today and after 10/14. Print versions are available on Amazon for $6.99.

Untitled XIII

Your back still has zits sometimes
(I am staring at one now)
and it grows more hair every year it seems
I love not the zits that you
pop while I am watching but
to have known you long
enough to see you change.

Poem by Annie Jadin, speakingvoiceless.wordpress.com.

Written for the “gift” prompt at dVerse: http://dversepoets.com/2015/10/06/poetics-what-is-your-gift/

Sex addiction

It’s the oppressive heat of an
east coast August and your
mind just wants to repress
this like an overcast sky
when your skin is too tight,
breathing water and sweat and
the heat needs to let up:
clouds splitting open washed
away by sunlight after
rain but it doesn’t.
Doesn’t
it just kill you like an
overstuffed snake, it weighs
in your gut; controls you, is
you until you break
down. I need to go down
choking, spit flying and
someone needs to come up
to this empty ache I’ve been
hiding, now fill it fill it
so my skin can start fitting,
it’s air that I’m breathing,
his face was too close and now
it’s receding. Be rough be
a stranger, these echoes
of old hurt erase him. Come
again, fill me up, give me
danger I can taste it and
stop looking back for ten
minutes, an hour, forgetting
for now I’m still empty.

Poem by Annie Jadin, speakingvoiceless.wordpress.com.

false accusations

the day
time
stopped
can you just
remember
the day
time
stopped?

she got the date of the party wrong
when she spoke to the police
(it was 4 weeks ago, more
or less)
so “she cried
wolf”
beauty becomes the monster
we try to save the beast.

when it’s your turn,
mister,
you just try to remember the day
time
stopped.

Poem by Annie Jadin, speakingvoiceless.wordpress.com.