Wednesday, May 27, 2009

for andrew marvell

for andrew marvell & his coy mistress
had we but world enough, & time,
this coyness, lady, were no crime.
we would sit down & think which way
to walk, & pass our long love's day…
that my carnal, juvenescent eyes
should find this carpe diem,
was no less an unsought prize
than the rich rewards given
the princes of serendip.

that i could reason at all, let alone
infer to the best of explanations,
how passing strange i took this poem
& its syllogistic argumentation
to seed my puerile poeting.

i who stole love’s lyrics
to voice my great desire
too fearful to press the heroics
of plain speech that might require
an honest show of feelings.

i who knew nothing of metaphysics
nor arcane & mystic explications
knew this poem a fertile mix
of seduction & celebration
of sexual delight.

its abductive logic did not belie
my puerile truth: yield to my sweet
manly charms for soon we may die.
a fitting mantra for men in heat
whatever age, race or era.

today i see that syllogistic stalking
horse for what it was & is.
my poems betray my errant walking
through the dramas, mysteries
& incoherence where

that logic took me by the hand.
now i desire to extend in time
& space beyond my earthly span,
my grown-up verse & rhyme
sings the brevity of happiness,

the fleetingness of pleasure,
& sweetness of eternal life.
oh if i could but measure
the steps i’ve taken from rife
indulgence to uncertain spirit

path, they would equal the count of
all my poems, written & unwritten,
spoken & unspoken, works of love
crafted by a perverse poet smitten
by a playful god.

© Joseph McNair; 2009

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