TREES ABOUT TO BLOOM, IN BLOOM, FULL-LEAVED
Trees about to bloom, in bloom, full-leaved;
Harrowing escapes, fresh plums and pears;
A cold, gray afternoon, a son long grieved;
Nearing home, the last long flight of stairs;
Kindnesses returned, a glimpse of breast;
Scent of lilac, hunger, tell-tale pain;
Gifts one cannot use, a playful pest;
Illnesses one would not wish again;
Victories, defeats, the urge to dance;
Imitation whipped cream, the real thing;
New thoughts, a lingering death, a brief romance;
Grace to love whatever life may bring.
PERHAPS YOU THINK YOU NEVER WILL RECOVER
Perhaps you think you never will recover.
Abysses in your heart disturb your pleasure.
Underneath each sunlit ecstasy
Lie shadows of the fortunes of another,
A fate that’s both your burden and your treasure.
PASSION’S A PRELIMINARY PLEASURE
Passion’s a preliminary pleasure,
An introduction to the themes of love.
Some mistake it for the greater treasure,
Sustaining it by keeping on the move.
In beginning time and time again,
One makes oneself the centerpiece, and then
None can of one’s heart the object prove.
ON HANUKKAH, THE FIRST DARK NIGHT
On Hanukkah, the first dark night,
Light yourself a candle bright.
I’ll you, if you will me invite
To dance within that gentle light.
THE GIFT OF BEING CANNOT BE A GIVEN
The gift of being cannot be a given:
How many trillion accidents made me?
And yet it seems no accident to be,
Nor seem I less the driver than the driven.
Knowledge cannot penetrate my freedom,
So absolute it seems I am that am.
God may or not exist, but sovereign,
I seem to rule by will my rotting kingdom.
Very little that it seems, it seems,
Is what it is: the being and glory,
Nor can I be the author of my story,
Graced to witness truths beyond my dreams.
TIME, IN TIME, EVENTUALLY IS TIMELESS
Time, in time, eventually is timeless,
Having flattened out into a sea.
In moments of sufficient mass is oneness,
Reduced to what might seem eternity.
There is in love a similar dynamic
Yielding to the outpourings of years,
Endless end, redemption oceanic,
Infinite home for memories and tears.
Give, then, due thanks for love that lasts forever,
However long that is, a depthless deep
That rests beneath the restless waves of ever,
Happily the one thing you may keep.
THANK YOU FOR A MEMORABLE EVENING
Thank you for a memorable evening.
Heaven is suffused with verbal light.
As souls peer through the glass of conversation,
No one knows what may be wrong or right.
Kindness teaches far more truth than reasoning.
Your food for tongue and thought was rich with seasoning,
Opening a window on delight,
Undoing tiny knots of revelation.
Nicholas Gordon is a poet and the webmaster of the popular poetry site, Poems for Free at http://www.poemsforfree.com. He holds a Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Stanford University. For most of his working life, he taught English at New Jersey City University, in Jersey City, NJ.