Woman Writing a Letter
detail from Woman Writing a Letter by Gerard ter Borch


Her lovers’ ink, the sneerful think,
Is sentimental brine –
But no, I say, for each cliché
Is lyricment divine !
The very fact her tritesome pact
Is heaped upon my shrine
Is surely worth all laboured birth –
Her rapturelust is mine !
Her spotted graft becomes a draught
Of witticismic wine;
Her passion grows in purple prose,
To bloom incarnadine.

Caveat Emptor

Quentin Massys http://www.tuttartpitturasculturapoesiamusica.com
detail from The Moneylender & His Wife by Quentin Metsys


Caveat Emptor

You need saving, I think, you need saving-
I don’t know from what, but you need it, and I got it.
I choose to lease myself as investment in your craving,
(Though nothing gets refunded, as your credit-rating’s rotted.)
You think I look expensive, and you think you can’t afford it:
When your faith is unsecured, and your int’rest rate obsessed.
With all emotions overdrawn, your hope is due an audit –
Now you’re out of guarantee and about to be possessed.

Expensive ?  Me ?  Most surely yes,
And very very dear –
I will cost you ev’ry single thing, and nothing less;
I will cost you all you know, and all that you express:
Your ev’ry laugh and ev’ry scream,
Your ev’ry try and ev’ry guess,
And I will cost your ev’ry lie, and ev’ry truth sincere.
Your ev’ry insecurity and neurologic mess –
They all belong to me, you hear ?
Mine is your perdition, absolution and confess,
Mine the power to repress,
Mine the power to redeem.
I shall be your angel engineer,
To grease your thread and mesh your gear,
And shine your rusting soul with my caress.

You need saving, I think, you need saving-
God knows as from what  –  you don’t know it, but you’ll get it.
I choose to bond myself upon the markets that you’re braving,
Expose my soul to risk until we’re equally indebted.
You think I look expensive as I gilt your fraying edges,
But you’ll enter into contract on my exponential sureties.
My platinum promissory shall underwrite your pledges
As you finally take stock of all your life-assured securities.

Dizzying ?  Me ?  Forever yes,
And very very sheer –
I shall cost you ev’ry single thing that you possess
I shall cost your ev’ry hope, and watch them coalesce.
Your presentide is mine to gleam
Your morrowment is mine to bless
And though I know this terrifies, I’ll help you persevere.
For mine shall be your ev’ry waking thought and sleeping dream,
Mine your ev’ry failing scheme,
Mine your ev’ry sweet success.
Guilt and joy and lust and fear
Cost far more than money mere,
These are how you pay for me, by bushel, peck and ream.
And then, what is more, I press
My darling with an added stress:
For not just shall you suffer this to give your love supreme;
But now you must attend my tear –
For like you, I too revere:
So you must accept the very same from my extreme.
Give my passions safe address,
For we are quartz, my love, and we are steam.



The Ant-Days of Summer

flying ant


The Ant-Days of Summer

I think it must have been a day
When ants were flying
In July.
A long and hot and wingèd day
When ants were flying
By and by.
And that was when we chanced to meet,
With grounded ants about our feet.

Those virgin queens and horny males,
On scorching days
In late July.
The queens fly fast to test the males
On scorching days
When ants must fly.
The lads were swarming when we met –
But then, one shot is all they get.

The lucky males take turns to mate
With picky queens
In late July.
Upon the wing, the ants shall mate –
As jacks and queens
Shall fill the sky.
And I met you beneath their flights,
With royal weddings in our sights.

The girls bite off their wings to reign
As wingless queens
In late July
These girls will never fly again –
But hey, the queens
At least don’t die !
And you and I were changing lives,
As queens got down to digging hives.




Albino Lisa



Her hair is purest white, not quite,
Her skin is hinted bisque,
Her eyes are palest blue in hue,
Her lips are coral kissed.
Her subtleties of shade displayed
Are never blanched, but lush;
And with a gentle goose, educe
A gorgeous crimson blush.



I would just like to add thatb the goose was consentual.



The Confession of Giulietta de’ Cappelletti

Romeo & Juliet
Romeo & Juliet by Norman Price

The Confession of Giulietta de’ Cappelletti

I was so shy and so urgent for love,
He was so cocky and so unforeseen –
Montecchi’s scion, forbidden and tough,
Flaring my heart that was nearly fourteen.
Ros’linda no more, now I shone so bright –
Covert our courtings, the game thrilled me much.
Made for a beautiful corpse, for one night,
Till I awoke to my lover’s cold touch.
Darkness his mistress, they lay ’neath my vault –
Retching in dazement, I readied his knife.
How could I live sans my Roman exault ?
How could I die when I’d died and found life ?
I did not follow my darling bereft –
I betrayed him as he me when he left.

Don’t forget that Juliet wasa only thirteen, experiencing her first teenage crush.

Conspiracy of Love

Whispering Angel
Whispering Angel by Agostino Carracci


Conspiracy of Love

Ev’ryone knows that love is real –
Ev’ryone knows it, cos ev’ryone says.
Ev’ryone knows how they’re meant to feel,
And if they don’t feel it – well, who’d dare confess ?
Ev’ryone’s doing it,
Ev’ryone’s wooing it,
Ev’ryone, pair-by-pair,
Couplets in rhyme.
Ev’ryone plays along,
Ev’ryone can’t be wrong,
Ev’ryone, ev’rywhere,
All of the time.
We’ve all seen the movies,
We’ve all sung the songs,
We know what succeeds and we know what belongs,
We’ve all of us wanted and wanted to be
So wanted and needed,
So giddy with glee.

Ev’ryone knows that love is true –
Ev’ryone knows it, cos that’s what they’re taught.
Ev’ryone knows the whole hullabaloo
And if they don’t know it – well, surely they ought !
Ev’ryone’s doing it,
Ev’ryone’s brewing it,
Evryone’s winning –
It’s all in the art.
Ev’ryone wants to shine,
Ev’ryone toes the line,
Ev’ryone’s in on it,
Playing their part.
And who wouldn’t want it ?
And who could rebel ?
And who’d be a heretic, breaking our spell ?
We all of us want it, we want it so bad
That all who foreswear it must surely be mad !



To the Love Unwritten

Priestess of Delphi
Priestess of Delphi by John Collier

To the Love Unwritten

The sweetest thing you ever said,
Of all the loving things you said,
Is when you murmured in our bed
That we were never meant to be.
No karmas chimed when first we met,
No stars were crossed, no fates were set,
No providence in gold and jet,
No single-hearted entity.

For no-one had foreseen us,
Nor our destinies fore-planned;
There was not a plot between us,
Nor an ever-guiding hand.
It is no spook, but just a fluke
Your years are spent with me.
For you and I, the augurs sigh,
Were never meant to be.

The sweetest thing you ever said,
Of all the loving things you said,
Is when you whispered through my head
That we are nothing more than chance.
For we are random in our bearing,
In a universe uncaring;
Kismet never kissed our pairing,
Nor the twists of Fortune’s dance.

For no-one had foreseen us,
We were never on the cards;
The statistics couldn’t glean us,
Nor the sibyls, nor the bards.
It’s only luck that we have struck:
You were not sent to me –
For you and I, the prophets cry,
Were never meant to be.