John DesCamp





First the tide rushes in,

plants a kiss on the shore,

then rolls out to sea,

and the sea is very still once more. 



Deep, courageous, loyal beyond reason,

calm surface covering old wounds;

you return to loveís shore warily,

shrinking from hard hurts.


Love again?  Perhaps never.

Your tide has been long out,

nourishing other, safer lands.

Better to hold those familiar joys

and shrink from this new sunbeam

on the margin of your depths.


You leave;

In some other life you return,

give your waves to my shore.

We live at the boundary

between my sun

and your waters.

Poisoned Arrow

This being in love? 

It starts with pain and risk.

The good stuff comes, if ever,

further down the road.

You only get the lesson

after you pay the tuition.


Falling in love is easy.

All you do is stand there

where Eros can see you;

the young manís a mean shot.


Then, if you squint your eyes

in the pale light of our late afternoon,

you can almost believe itís Spring again,

and the arrow wonít hurt too much.


But the arrow is barbed and canít be pulled.

It works out, in time, when the feverís gone.

By then youíre deep friends

or deeper foes.

Endings are never neutral.


Wasted Time


For a season

I thought I loved you;

the summer light was yellow,

new leaves whispered greenly.


Our hurried coupling

could have been mistaken for affection

if you didnít look closely;

didnít see the emptiness

that was always there;

a dark, third person companion

to our hollow fulfillment.


These things have their cycle.

Itís autumn;

I still think of you sometimes,

wondering why we risked so much

for so little.


And it isnít the rain I hate,

the fat, wind-driven driving drops,

hissing their endless reminder

that things end as wellóor as badly---

as theyíre begun.

Itís the bleak white light

of this October Sunday:

sterile, perfunctory sun

without warmth or nourishment.


Almost as bright and cold

as our last kiss.


Wedding at Haystack Rock


Gray-blue water and

blue-gray sky

merge on the horizon;

separated only by the knowledge

that there is, always, a separation.


Ocean shudders with pleasure

sunlight sizzles and pops;

waves and the stream of wedding guests

roll in, sinking in damp sand.


The sun is one with the gravid air;

wind and the soft static of waves

a current of white noise,

hot and bright as the declining sun.


A pungent edge of smoke

from an early fire tags along,

sharpens the coolness

inside the warm wind;

theyíre also guests at the ceremony.



Be well.  Hold each otherís hand.

Love one another always, as God,

who made this day, loves you.

When rain and thunder come

you are loved with equal fierceness.


© 2011 John DesCamp



John DesCamp is the author of Along the Way, his first collection of poetry, and of numerous legal and business papers that will never be read by anyone except his clients and professional colleagues.  He is a recovering attorney and investment banker who hopes to emulate Wallace Stevensí ability to succeed in both the world of finance and the world of poetry.