To His Cold Mistress

sophy
Sophy Gray by John Millais

 

To His Cold Mistress

Shend me not, my mistress,
Send my not to Coventry,
Attend to kinder business, pray,
To mend and soften me.
Defriend-me-not, my darling,
Let me tender and atone.
Unbend a little, starling,
Ere we spend our years alone.
Shend me not, my mistress,
Send me not distressed and listless, pray –
O, end this plot, unblend us not,
Engender nor us misbegot:
For we have kenned such tenderness
And we have wended as we went –
We can re-friend such splendour, yes !
We can ascend and be unshent.

 
To shend is a wonderful if now archaic verb meaning ‘to put to shame’ or ‘to reproach and scold’.

 

 

Golden in the Fall

autumn autumn colours brown countryside
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

Golden in the Fall

The leaves are falling down again,
They do so ev’ry year
It doesn’t mean a thing to you and I.
The days are full of wind and rain,
But we are not, my dear –
It is eternal Spring for you and I.

If trees have lost their beauty,
Then I guess they felt the need,
But we are still perennial and pure.
And even if we’re fruity,
Well, we sure ain’t gone to seed –
We’re nothing like Autumnal, that’s for sure !

The leaves are falling down again,
The boughs bear only rooks,
Or else are torn and splintered by the storm.
The frost may star the windowpane,
The ice may sheet the brook,
But we’ll just snuggle closer, safe and warm

If days are getting shorter,
Then our nights are getting longer,
And the season’s chill is firmly kept outdoors.
I don’t see why we oughta
Be beholden – we are stronger
Than the puny pull of Autumn’s metaphores.

 

 

To Ev’ry Dream I Ever Dreamt

sleep
Sleeping Venus by Simon Vouet

 

To Ev’ry Dream I Ever Dreamt

Oh, what a night we spent together,
That night I spent in your arms !
That night I fell headlong for your charms,
That night we met in the dark.
Though my eyes were closed, I saw it all,
And yet, so little I recall…
And yet…I kind-of sense you’ve left your mark.
Oh, what a night we spent together,
It felt like the night would last forever –
Yet ev’ry night ends with the lark,
The radio’s bark across the hall,
The clanging bells that wrench me from the ball.

Oh, what a night when I slept with you !
For just one night, and never again –
Now ev’ry night I wait in vain,
Until another REM-ling takes your place.
We had a time, though, you and I,
Just wish I could have said goodbye –
But I was snatched from your embrace,
Or when I looked away, you fled –
Our words unsaid with the dawning sky,
One more lost thread, one more forgotten face.
We were, alas, a one-night lie,
And now I wake to an empty bed,

The Misanthrope’s Love Song

honest john
Honest John by Alan Coulson

 

The Misanthrope’s Love Song

Ah love, the reddest of congealings
Oozing out of ev’ry pore,
And pouring in from ev’ry spout,
And weeping from each sore –
This slushy syrup’s seeping out:
A haemorrhage of metaphor.
Flooded by this tide of treacle –
(Better, though, than sludge or faecal !)
If love must be this sickly sweet,
I guess I’ll have to grab my spoon and eat.

Ah love: the Romeo of feelings,
Acted out for evermore,
With nothing new worth saying,
And the sayers such a bore –
The role we’re always playing,
Like the millions who came before.
So how are we to find the heart
When offered such a clichéd part ?
But if we cannot be the first,
I guess at least this script is well rehearsed.

Ah love, the feeblest of concealings,
Giggling its guffaws galore –
The grinniest of poker faces,
Blurting out the score.
It favours twos to lonely aces,
Bids on hearts and bets the store.
You know, a sharp or cynic could
Defraud such love of all that’s good –
But maybe I’ll relent today,
And sigh, and shrug, and ante up to play…

 

 

The Romantic Imperative

heart

 

The Romantic Imperative

It’s never the way that they claim it, this love,
In their stories and movies and songs –
It’s never so epic or urgent or raw,
It’s never so moving or brimming with awe.
It’s never the way that it should be, this love,
And we’re all of us doing it wrong –
They sold us the brand and we snapped up the dream,
We’re dazzled by hope when there’s barely a gleam.
And if we ain’t got it,
It’s too late to spot it,
Cos surely we should’ve exulted by now.
Whatever the weather,
To not be together
Is more than a lover could ever allow.
So still we keep wishing,
And still we keep sighing,
And still we keep fishing,
And swooning, and crying
And even the faithful still feel the desire –
We’re all of us waiting for Cupid to fire.

It’s never the way that we planned it, this love,
In our minds and our hearts and our schemes –
It’s never so civil or timely or neat,
It’s never so gentle or syrupy sweet.
It’s never the way that we practised, this love,
With our patter and perfumes and creams –
It comes on in shivers and rashes and bursts,
It comes on in hungers and gorges and thirsts.
And if we don’t get it,
They’ll make us regret it –
We’ve failed to be human and living our fill.
We’re solo and only –
The crime of the lonely,
That’s punished by keeping us lonelier still.
But on we keep hoping,
And on we keep dreaming,
And on we keep moping,
And recklessly teeming –
And even the loveless are likewise alike,
We’re all of us sure that the lightning will strike.

 

 

The Power of the Ballad

lighters

The Power of the Ballad

We all grew up with those slow, slow songs
That would start so low and so far.
And they ev’ry damn one were all about love,
With piano or strumming guitar.
And they ev’ry damn one were all about love,
And they’d start so low and alone –
But we waited for strings and we waited for drums
That the first verse would only postpone.

We all grew up with those slow, slow songs
That would start so low, but they’d build.
And they ev’ry damn one were all about love,
Be it yearned or lost or fulfilled.
And they ev’ry damn one were all about love,
And they’d always start so low.
But we knew there were strings and we knew there were drums,
All to come as the slow songs grow.

We were so young, too young to know,
That that’s not the way that our love must go.
We should have been so angry, shrieking out with rage –
Instead of slowly dancing, or shrieking at the stage.

We all grew up with those slow, slow songs
That would slowly grow as they’d build.
And they ev’ry damn one were all about love,
Be it spent or hungry or willed.
And they ev’ry damn one were all about love,
And they’d always build so good.
Cos we knew there were drums, and we knew there were strings –
And the strings entered here, as they should.

We were so young, too young to know,
That that’s not the way ev’ry time would flow.
But DJs gave us no-one else to lead us by their lights,
So who else could we turn to through our adolescent nights.

So we all sang along, sang along –
Cos who wouldn’t want to feel like they belong ?
So we sang and we sang, and still we got it wrong,
So we thought we had to listen even harder to the song

We all grew up with those slow, slow songs
That didn’t stay low, cos they’d build –
And they ev’ry damn one were all about love,
Be it craved or broken or thrilled.
And they ev’ry damn one were all about love,
And they didn’t stay low for long –
Cos we knew there were strings and we knew there were drums,
And we knew that the climax was strong.

We were so young, too young to know,
That that’s not the way when you start off low,
But that’s what we thought, cos that’s what they’d tell:
That it builds and it builds till it surges in a swell.

So we all sang along, sang along –
Cos who wouldn’t want to sing out with the throng ?
So we sang and we sang, and still we got it wrong,
Even though we did it all like they did it in the song.

But there must be other songs we can play –
There must be other songs where it doesn’t go this way.
But if we trust the ballads, then will the answers come ?
Or will our eyes be closed as we’re swaying to the drum ?,
That starts its beating here.
Cos we may come and go, but the ballads persevere.

By the time we hit the middle-eight,
We maybe should have learned
As our lighters sway, but always late:
Behind the beat, with fingers burned.
By the time the raw falsettos flood
From songs that start so low,
Our doubts are drowned in pulsing blood.
I guess it’s time to play the solo.

We were so young, too young to know,
That that’s not the way that the songs should go.
They should sometimes start fast, and should sometimes never build,
And should sometimes anticlimax or suddenly be killed,

But we all sang along, sang along –
Cos who wouldn’t want for their love to build so strong ?
So we sang and we sang, even though we knew it’s wrong,
And still it never played out like it plays out in the song.

But there must be other songs we can play –
There must be other songs where it doesn’t go this way.
There must be other songs where our love strangely comes –
So unclose your eyes and ungate your drums,
And let them ring out clear !
For the ballad is done, but we all still are here.

We all grew up with those slow, slow songs
That would end so high, but they’d fade.
And they ev’ry damn one were all about love,
Till the coda would close the parade.

Rhino Dancing

pink sugar
Pink Sugar by Olivier Ponsonnet

 

Rhino Dancing

The best thing about her ?  Whenever she speaks
The tip of her sweet nose will flex up and down.
But only the button, you should understand –
The subtlest of bounces beyond her command.
Crowning her philtrum and charming her cheeks,
Her pogo-ing hooter is hitting the town.
Her bobbing proboscis is truly quite stellar –
But if she don’t realise, I ain’t gonna tell her !
You have to be close up to see it in action,
And more when she smiles and less when she frowns.
A wonderf’ly random and quirky attraction –
Who says the best noses are sported by clowns ?