Thursday, February 12, 2015

Monsters of Elegance

I've been revisiting Jacobean drama -- John Webster, John Ford, The Revenger's Tragedy -- and all of this blank verse has coloured my thoughts.

Here's one result. Any criticism would be welcomed!


As dreamers in a Gatineau demesne
Await an autumn sunset, or the frost
That forms in crystal winding-sheets below
The ever-falling moon, they understand
That life's fragility is beautiful,
If only for the poignancy of time
And all things time has taken.

If our dooms
Can lead our thoughts to beauty, then the dreads
And non-existent symbols of our deaths
Can also bear the weight of beauty's charm.
Show me, then, in words or painted guise
The monsters that are beautiful, alive.

Show me fiends with beaks of beaten gold,
With feathers black as mica or the grave.
Line the hills with reptant forms that rise
To possibilities of light and sky.
Women, jeweled with serpent scale and glass,
With eyes of midnight intricacy, burn
At every glance. Let predatory grace
Gleam out from every stalking crouch and leap
Of white-furred nemesis or bodied fear.

Monsters in their elegance, as pure,
As lively as the dancers of the day,
Are heralds of deep happiness, inverted,
As in the mirror's depths, as in our dreams.
Make them beings of beauty, jewelry, silk,
Pendants for the light of idle minds;
Make them signposts on the trails of life
And delectations for the killer, Time.

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