Since I seem to be circling around the theme of married love, here is the first of a two-poem pair by Joseph. Since I also like John Donne very much, this particularly appeals.
POEMS IN THE MANNER OF DONNE, ON TEXTS BY SIR THOMAS BROWNE
Meditation on a Time-Piece
All things began in order, so shall they end, and so shall they begin again; according to the ordainer of order and mystical mathematics of the city of heaven.
As on a clock-face the artificer
Doth lay two hands which readily shall go
Turned by the cunning engine: the first one slow
Doth pace; th'other pursueth her
As in a race he runs, and passing on
Circles the dial twelve times to her one;
Nor shall they confer
At noon or midnight till the full race be run,
So are we two: for as at first we lay
Together on the noon-stroke, now I roam
Busily round the dial, while you at home
Pass (what the hour hand's hour is and) your day.
Now in these circlings we may daily meet
As hourly do the hands each other greet,
And can we never say
That time shall yet be ours, till all hours are complete.
Yet this our clock runs not on hours but years
Cycles and centuries, as measured are
By magian transposition of a star
Or no-map-marking Aztec calendars.
Upon eternity's still ceaseless ground
Plato's Great Year goes wheeling round
All minuted with prayers
That we together be when God's great midnight sound.
. . .
I really like sonnets of the shakespearean form, and the solid couplet at the end of this one is particularly satisfying:
She was content in the kitchen, hugging cheap dreams
Until that old woman, starting in a puff
Of ashes, clothed her in cobweb and moonbeams,
Conjured a coach from rats and kitchen-stuff.
At midnight the dress upon the dancing-floor
Lay dirt and glimmer, the slippers were ice-hard,
The clock-prince chimed along the corridor,
She fled him weeping through the palace-yard.
But the old witch had her way; the messengers
Went out to match the slipper to the true princess.
Dragged in her rags before the tittering courtiers,
Put to the question, she could only whisper Yes.
In glass-heeled slippers she minces towards the tomb
Beside her bridegroom ticking like a bomb.
. . .
Best to you all.
*Betty Duffy, I'm looking at you...
1 day ago