Dead Leaves consists of six stanzas each of twelve lines and is not rhymed. It is voiced by a man
who has achieved strength and endeavour during his lifetime but who is now reduced by age to a mere
tool of wind and nature and feels that he will shortly depart this life.
Sad though he may be at his fate, he, nonetheless, philosophises at the new freedom it will bring
him in a new found capability of movement through the air; but he is aware of the gulf that will
arise between the realm he now anticipates for himself and his former state. He therefore expresses
caution at desiring the change too soon but is only too conscious of the limitations imposed upon
the power of man to determine his fate.
The vitality of life will continue, however, in the combined
strength of nature rolling ever onward in which some remnant of his existence may still be
perceived in the blowing leaves transformed into Olympian gods. In particular, he implores his
wife to watch him passing with the dancing leaves blown across the fields and thereby to feel
that he is always present.
Dream Moon consists of eleven stanzas mostly of two quatrains each which are rhymed ACBD.
A lover thinks back to the time of his great love some distance in the past but which has
ended for some unexplained reason. He calls upon the moon to shine upon his sleeping figure
and to restore his happiness by conjuring dreams of former days.
A man (or woman) pines for his, now, deceased lover who has faded into an unknown world
beyond his reach. The storm tossed trees portray his turmoil at her loss but he yearns
for calm and the return of their days together regretting that the years have passed so
quickly. She remains firmly in his memory, however, as he muses on the nature of the
Format is seven stanzas each of two quatrains each rhymed AC, BD.
Two lovers form a passionate relationship which becomes overwhelmed as if by a fog swirling
over former thoughts of eternal loyalty that erases the vows previously sworn. They feel
the contrast of wintery cold entering their souls as a consequence of their deceit and
loss of companionship.
But far away in the hills of their minds is a plant that beckons them to resume their
relationship by means of clearing their minds of the fog and seeking clarity in a new
beginning. In admitting the sun into their lives, they will transform their fortunes and
drive out the doubts and hostility in order, once more, to find love as the binding force
in their lives.
Format is five stanzas of eleven to thirteen heavily but irregularly rhymed lines.
How Brief the Moon
The night gives way to glaring day as moon descends to recuperate in the care of a shielding
priestess. The lover regrets the loss of moonlight as the moon causes the tide to wash out
the hours as if his beloved had been carried away upon its departure. As day dims the
delights of night, he regrets her loss to the fates but retains the memories stored at
the place where he awaits the moon's return imagining its ascent when, even though he
may have died in her absence, his love would not have perished and he would be revived
by the moon bathing his grave and be able, once more, to feel their love in its beams.
Format is ten stanzas each of nine lines and is heavily rhymed throughout.
A tribute to memories which stay in the mind when all else has dissolved into the mists of
time. The incidents acquired in life can thereby be retained even when the events have
slipped into history as even the present passes away to be replaced by the new. They will,
however, suddenly be recalled as an unexpected event occurs to remind one of the beauties
that one has experienced.
Format is five stanzas each of ten lines rhymed HJ.
An ode to the memory of a lost lover.
Format is four stanzas each of twelve lines and all fulsomely rhymed.
The Day of Reckoning
A woman has voluntarily but inexplicably disappeared without trace or warning to the despair
of her grieving lover. He expresses his fury and despair to her upon her suddden reappearance
but concludes that he could not bear a repetition and casts her out.
Format is five stanzas each of nine lines none of which are rhymed.
The Flower consists of three stanzas each of seven lines where a statement of four lines is
answered by a response of three lines. It is written in free verse without rhyme or regular
meter, although iambs are prevalent, but I hope that the story of the lovers parting is
sufficiently poetic to compensate. There are a few internal rhymes and assonances, however,
eg "play, May", "new, through", "afresh, perish", "blossoms, kisses".
I envisage the story to be related by a man; but a woman could easily be the protagonist. He
is not a mere youth as in many poems of lost love, however, but somewhat older with a
certain maturity of judgement and insight into human feelings that enable him to view his
loss with detachment from the perspective of wisdom gained by experience rather than from
the immaturity and self-indulgence of the despair of youth.
He compares a deep felt loss, probably of a dearly loved woman who has left him for some
unexplained and probably unjust reason. He sees in a newly plucked flower a means to
contrast his everlasting love with the ephemeral passage of emotions she has demonstrated
and now has so cruelly withdrawn from him.
The poem begins with the analogy of love represented by the flower overcoming all obstacles
and confident that it will be perpetually renewed each spring in contrast to the
vulnerability of a love that will not regenerate once it has encountered a rebuff. The poem
then suddenly plunges into the foreboding of impending loss which is confirmed, in
emulation of her sudden departure, by the jilted lover plucking the flower which will now
wither rather than be renewed.
The flower will be reborn to grace a later spring but with no memory of past despair whereas
the jilted lover cannot believe that another love will be as heartfelt as that which he has
felt for his recently lost beloved and which, in contrast, will die of grief and never
reawaken despite his constancy.
The poem calls in aid the passage of the year from spring through summer that, in the winds
and buds of May, and with their waving flowers, expresses the joys of love. This is
contrasted with the despair evoked by the cruelty he has suffered when his love was spurned.
What had evidently been a deep and reciprocated love has suddenly dissolved after some
disagreement has arisen between them and they have parted in bleakened circumstances with
the consequence that their separation has transformed a flower strewn life of former
joy into a barren moor. They have taken their separate paths and she has gone to some
unknown place for some unknown reason whilst he is left gazing at an empty arena.
I use the double meaning of the verb "to press" in order to echo his dilemma. The perfection
of his love could have been preserved by pressing the flower in a book; but the flower is
no longer the emblem of their undivided love kept forever in treasured memory but petals
blowing in the wind in representation of their fractured love. They are, nonetheless, his
ambassadors of love and his last remnant of hope that they may find her and restore her
love for him.
The wind has a personality that is favourably disposed towards the couple having once fanned
their love and is now willing to be pressed into service in order to aid them in this trial
by blowing the remnants of the flower in pursuit of the woman in a vain attempt to salvage
their relationship. By setting free the petals in the hope that they may find and restore
his previous happiness, the lover sacrifices the emblem of his love in this last act of
desperation thereby not only forgoing the pleasure that it may have brought some
consolation to him in future years but also demonstrating his commitment to their
relationship despite her having left him.
He is confident that the same wind that blew in spring can seek her out; but he knows deep
within his soul that she has severed their relationship and that he will not be able to
rekindle her former feelings. She has broken free having evidently been captivated in her
love for him and will not now return; and neither will the wind. His feelings are that
much more poignant for her having renounced him voluntarily whilst his love remains as
deep and permanent as ever.
He has probably exhausted any argument he may have had that would achieve a reconciliation.
All he can do now is gaze after the petals borne on the wind and stoically accept that,
whilst spring will revive the flower, his love will never be requited. Those bleak feelings
felt upon her departure will remain. Only heather upon the moorland that, as the fourth
character in the drama, has maintained a sombre silence throughout, will know that his
feelings are as strongly felt as those posed by the finality of death.
The Land I Knew
A man feels the onset of death when winter yields to a permanent spring and he retains the
sight of the beauty he knew. His river has run through the course of his life as far as the
sea. Now, he ascends the path to the skies aided by the moon dispelling his fears. With a
new found freedom, he will proceed to repeat his earthly success that will act as guidance
to others in their lives. As he nears the end of his final journey, he rejoices at the
everlasting day before him and visualises an existence after death not distant from his
Format is nine stanzas, mostly of twelve lines each, fulsomely rhymed throughout.
The Last Smile
A bereaved lover compares his loss to the change of season into Autumn and Winter. All of
nature has lost the charm of Spring and Summer: leaves dropping; the year closing; flowers
falling to the earth. Time passes and life declines but, even in bereavement, he can still
recall the words and sounds of a life now passed. Love lives on beyond the grave as he
seeks remembrance in the stars shining through the, now, leafless branches.
Format is ten stanzas each consisting of two quatrains all of which are rhymed AC, BD.
Too Proud to Return
Too Proud to Return consists of seven stanzas each of six lines and is not rhymed.
Two lovers have a bitter disagreement leading to separation but, unable to discard their
pride, neither will admit to any fault. It is as if they were separated by a wide river
mouth with each on opposite headlands. The protagonist has not stopped loving but
suppresses any admission of wrongdoing despite the pangs of separation.
He is aware that their love still burns as brightly as before but he is resolute in
stubbornly refusing to admit his faults. Their separation will pertain even unto the grave
and neither party will be prepared to re-examine their flaws. They will, instead, drag out
their days regardless how crippled their minds become.