Caden St. Claire is revising her third collection of poetry (“No One Mentioned Morning”) exploring her favorite topic – the worlds that exist in the minds and hearts of lovers. Below are three examples. First, the title poem written in free verse. Second, a sonnet that speaks to those whose souls are forever bound. And third, what happens when war wipes out a generation.
“and no one mentioned morning”
her cell phone rang.
she jumped from habit,
eyes shining like a warrior
just before the final battle,
knowing when there’s
nothing left to lose.
traffic sang across the causeway, and
she wished for a moment she was
a reflection of who she used to be
rippled out of focus and
danced beneath the water.
he came up behind her and
joined in the dance, but
cold breezes whipped her hair into a
tangled web of defeat.
“must I leave for you to love me?”
whispered a voice much like her own.
she sensed the smile before it came,
and knew there’d be no answer tonight,
then listened with her eyes in the river
while he said the
night was theirs,
and no one mentioned morning.
“forever sea, forever albatross”
these drafty halls shall fail to recognize
thy secret rites of passage anymore,
for reasons i shall not attempt to size or
circumscribe, but, God’s death, i implore thee −
do not think thee that the feast be passed
before old bones are tossed into the fire−
though thy constant courtship end at last,
shall not thine absence all the more inspire?
so young i was when first thine eyes found mine,
and i could loose the stars against the day
and sightless, trace each wondrous, laughing line
that spoke the words thy lips foreswore to say;
how many times i’ve wakened with the dawn
and known thy very thoughts within my breast,
and every breath is one that thou hast drawn,
for where thou art is where my heart finds rest.
no tale of woe, no tapestry i’ll weave
to decorate the empty halls of kings,
for what we are is all that life can be−
two souls alone against a storm that sings.
so bid me take my leave, or bid me stay;
it matters not when destinies entwine
to say that i shall go so far away
that i shall not be thine, nor thee be mine.
for we are bound, whatever paths we cross−
forever sea, forever albatross.
she dreamed they were in his Ford,
her hand on his thigh like always.
they spoke of why they never married.
she lay her head on his shoulder and
remembered that he trembled now.
before, he’d always been so bold,
or at least, deliciously reckless.
but then he went to Vietnam,
and now he said that love was just an
itch that needed scratching.
in the dream, she lifted her eyes and
formed a reply with hungry lips,
only to awaken,
knowing she’d crossed the line again,
that he was dead like all the others.
all the fine, young men
who’d smiled and gone to war one day
and then come home with
all their tomorrows taken,
too many faces
buried in a rice paddy
with no one left to
scratch their itches or
take away their tremblings.