Routine protects the day, to guard
Against those thoughts that disregard
Reality. It’s always there
Behind a flowing drape or chair,
Waiting for openings in thought;
Seeming more potent than it ought
To be. Why should the actual
Be praised because its factual?
While fantasy is more intense,
Routine erects a stronger fence.
How Some Sonnets Are Made
Some sonnets tell the usual simple tale
Of how one lover dropped the other one;
Stopped answering calls, decided it was done.
Conventional maneuvers now gone stale,
What once excited and filled every day
Embarrasses; just something to forget.
Pretense controls the situation. Yet
The oddest things stick fast along the way,
Like tiny wings of errant seed pod fluff --
A phrase completed by the other one,
The way her hair was haloed in the sun,
And then, as if these weren’t quite enough,
The knowledge of a quick-aborted dream;
The choking of a reminiscent scream.
The Weight Of Unlike Objects
Emotion gives each object different weight,
According to what memories it contains.
One painting conjures up some weighty pains;
A table sags beneath a load of hate.
Though heavy with good words; phone calls seem light.
A presence, though, is heavy with the past;
Will raise some leaden feelings, and then cast
All thought into a dark and turgid night.
For all the weight it carries, love will fail,
While logic, truth and all the evidence.
Fly off. You’ll need the strongest psychic fence
To guard you. Then, too, you must wear a veil
To keep yourself away from all that’s real;
Except for love, which no one can conceal.
Elegy To A Man Of The Arts
for Tony Decorse
He filled his canvasses with shapes that fought
Against themselves, would brag a bit, attest
To all the famous arty friends he’d sought
Like Dali, Frank Lloyd Wright, Chagall, Mae West.
His status rose in each wild tale he told
Of how they praised his work and wished him fame;
While younger artists laughed at every bold
Construct, but half-enjoyed his pompous game,
Gathering courage from him to pursue,
With shouts and curses, on the avenue,
What they believed. I hear their laughter still --
The quarrels about each principle and hue.
He gave them courage to stay in the race.
Losing each prize, he still revered the chase.
To An Inconstant Lover
A pendant star
Hangs in its place,
No lies to mar
Its pristine space.
The sky is full
Of change tonight.
The moon has pull;
Exerts its might.
Those beams, as bright
As molten gold
Unchill a night
That’s not so cold
As your closed face.
And so, you see
We can’t embrace --
But that’s just me.
A Christmas Miracle
Buoyed on the frigid air of midnight’s grace,
The even thrum of a warm motor blew
My consciousness awake, and I arose,
Went to a blackened window, where I heard
This soporific beat increase its pace.
No gesture, rough shout, or one clear voice to
Provide a clue to something no one knows --
Can sight cause sound? This was no warbling bird.
The light, cascading, struck wet onyx space;
A trinity of lights, electric blue,
Nested in red and white. And I suppose
As rivulets of lights began to ring,
This miracle held me in tight embrace --
I kept on staring out, as if on cue,
The colored bulbs; like lilies in the spring,
Strung bright arpeggios. I heard them sing.
Copyright © 2012 Sally Cook