Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Don't Talk To Me About Love, Teenager

"Don't talk to me about love, teenager,
what do you know ?
You have been infant, and child,
faithfully loved and adored,
and now in the first rush of passion for one who is your equal in years,
you think you can tell me about love.

Though, truth to tell,
I do envy you that headlong dive,
the first surrendering of your still nascent self,
the giving of all that you are to another who is equally ill-equipped to receive it,
and yet so positive, so demonstrative,
for you this swirl of sex is love,
hard and beautiful as crystal,
and as easily shattered.

I have mended myself from that same breaking,
loved again, and discovered the love even more precious,
precarious, heartbreaking, fulfilling love of my own children.

Child, says my Grandfather, what do you know of love,
I love the men, dressed like me in uniform green,
who departed me and this life on the beach,
that bright and awful summer's day,
amidst the gunfire and the shells.

What do you know of love,
you who have not given your daughter to the keeping of another man,
or sat your grandchild on your knee,
or lived in the gentle companionship of your fading years,
to see your friends pass through that veil,
one by one,
'til you are the last one alive, head of the clan,
both revered and ignored,
I would tell you about love,
if you would just stop a while and listen." - Yorkshire Soul

This is the 2nd draft of this one, I'm still not entirely happy with it and as it is a longer free form poem than I have been writing I don't know if I am going to get it to a point where I am completely happy with it.  The first voice is any man of my age speaking to a teenager, the second voice has some echoes of my Grandfather and our relationship, but is is more informed by him than true to his character.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know what it is that you're not happy with, but what I feel you're trying to say is exactly spot on. I'm the last person who should be giving this advice to anyone, but don't be too hard on yourself, okay? I honestly don't care for free form poetry most of the time, but this piece genuinely speaks to me and drew me in from the start. I can see a few bits that I might rework slightly, but you're writing in your voice, not mine.