The Blossom On The Bough

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Two sonnets for May, and my muse

*

The fires are lit, my lover, and the hills

are flickering with little points of light

The sun is set, and deep within the rills

the seeds of stars are littering the night

The smoke is rising, lover, rising high

in winding spires of ribbons in the air

and in the rivers where the willows cry

and on the leys the ancient druids dare

to walk, the chalk is glowing.  I know you

will never leap the Beltane fires with me

or rise on one May morning in the dew

beside me, spellbound by my poetry

Or so it seems.  But oh, my lover, how

the blossom burns, so brightly on the bough

The maypole’s up, my lover, on the green

its willow ribbons flutter in the breeze

I would you be my king, and I your queen

for one night only, here beneath the trees

The hawthorn froths, my lover, in the hedge

the buds are bursting, birds are nesting high

yet still you fly, my hawk, above the edge

of some cold mountain way up in the sky

Come down, or are you wary that a flame

might fall within your feathers, or a spark

ignite your heart, or god forbid, you came

to want to stay beside me in the dark

It’s so, it seems.  But see, my lover, now

the blossom burning, brighter on the bough

*

© Gail Foster 1st May 2018

 

 

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The Ancient Bitch Of Days

for Chad Bittner Hurt, an American poet

*

It stood a while, alone, the perfect phrase

Entire and beautiful upon the stage

As lovely as two words could ever be

‘Till came the muse, the ancient bitch of days

Demanding blood and ink upon the page

Insisting passion and complexity

And sacrifice, and violent hymns of praise

Her hunger and her ardour to assuage

In wild defiance of simplicity

The poet quaked in terror, and betrayed

His words to slake her raw and awesome rage

In her cold hands they cried for company

 *

© Gail Foster 13th December 2016

Smoke And Roses Blow

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A Villanelle

*

Beyond the veil where daylight fears to go

Behind a swathe of heavy silken mist

The heady scents of smoke and roses blow

Along the paths that secret lovers know

Are wood and blossom tangled in a tryst

Beyond the veil where daylight fears to go

Within the subtle stream’s beribboned flow

Whirl pools of love and darkness in a twist

The heady scents of smoke and roses blow

The sun sinks in to shadow smooth and slow

Through willing earth too wanton to resist

Beyond the veil where daylight fears to go

On perfumed air a drum beat, soft and low

In perfect time without a rhythm missed

The heady scents of smoke and roses blow

The wild in love the sacred orchards know

Who go to be by passion’s madness kissed

Beyond the veil where daylight fears to go

The heady scents of smoke and roses blow

*

© Gail Foster 2016

The Trickiest Mistress

*

Desire is the trickiest mistress

A strange unpredictable beast

Tickled by fancy and circumstance

Afflicted by famine and feast

A delicate matter to master

An unruly monster to tame

Lightening flash turning wood in to ash

Fickle wind flirting with flame

The shock of a shot in the darkness

Rending the fabric of reason

Twist of the moon in the bloodstream to

The flow of the earth and the season

A flicker of feathers, a furnace

A shaft through a crack in the gloom

A kingfisher flash, and a cymbal clash

Stunning a moth to its doom

The lustre of dew on the morning

The rushing of rain from the heights

Soft light of the haze of a lazy day

The scream of a curse in the night

Dark tryst, with the forces of fury

Sharp wound to the breast of the brave

Tears streaming forth from the altar

In penitence down to the grave

A hypnotist, haunting the astral

A soul sold for pennies to Death

Dark lies from the lips of a lover

Spake on a sorcerer’s breath

A trickster who picks the wrong moment

A joker who laughs at his joke

The strike of a flint over kindle and lint

Drawing flame from a nuance of smoke

A trigger, a shiver, a whip crack

As swift as a swallow in flight

A shimmering dust of desire and lust

On a mirror upturned to the light

How it craves for its own consummation

And seeks its own purpose to feed

A bottomless well that can never be full

A cup all half empty of mead

‘Tis a mare that the Gods cannot master

As the wildness of wind in a tree

A force as elusive to harness

As the unbridled waves of the sea

Desire is the triskiest mistress

The riskiest creature to catch

For there in her eyes and the cleft of her thighs

May morality meet with its match

*

© Gail Foster 2016