Posts Tagged 'Sonnets'

“Remember thou art mortal,” cautioned he
Whose whisper in your ear — unwelcomed hum –
Still sliced knife-sharp through tumult of the sea
Of cheering souls, and marching footsteps’ drum.

“Remember thou art mortal –” though, ’tis hard
When borne upon a throng that chants your name
For deeds courageous past the skill of bard
To sing, or epic poet’s words to frame…

“Remember thou art mortal!” Pray, why so?
This conquered pagan realm, supine and spread
Before you now, none other’s hands to know
As master’s. “Queenly high, her laureled head –

Such proud and shining city’d never fall!”
‘Twas sacked! Destroyed! And pleased to give it all!


Copyright (C) Vox Mortuum 2014

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Amid the verdant leaves, a darker hue –
That shares more traits with emerald than with vine –
By movement now distinguishes to view
The sleek-scaled worm, pursuing meal to dine?

“Oh child,” the serpent laughs, “why thinkest I
Aloft among the shadowed branches wait?
No purpose dire could make me climb so high;
I seek only the birds to imitate!”

And thus he croons a hymn, surpassing fair,
As weaves his blunted muzzle slowly near,
His gleaming coils a halo of your hair.
His breath a faint caress against your ear…

So you, if thought be fixed on honeyed note,
Won’t even feel his fangs sink in your throat.


Copyright (C) Vox Mortuum 2014

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“A deep breath take, and hold it as you can,”
The voice I’d grown to love, over me said.
“Close mouth and nose and eyes — a second’s span,”
He promised as his palm submerged my head.

I did almost as bid, but glance I slipped
To watch the water’s surface close above:
A quiv’ring veil before him in whose grip
Lay I, the ancient beast made fool by love.

What trusting rube! I feel the seconds turn
To minutes, flowing present into past,
Then ages more… Although my lungs may burn
I’ll smile up to your gaze, until the last.

My heartbeat in my ears, a fading sound –
My love won’t die. All else is yours to drown.


Copyright (C) Vox Mortuum 2014

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It may not be true now; it does not mean it was false forever.

I’m past consideration now of things
I “should” or “ought”; I find no longed-for peace
Within the tension that your absence brings
Why can’t your power with your presence cease?

My mind’s a traitor. Even now I feel
Your frank and steady gaze caress my skin
And stroke my lips. I know it isn’t real,
Mere fantasy… so would you think it sin

For me to summon phantom of your voice
To beg my aching ears: “love, blush for me”?
Your scent around me — now I have no choice.
My blood is up; if you were here you’d see.

My hands — the ghost of yours, but not the same.
Alone and overwhelmed, I cry your name.


Copyright (C) Vox Mortuum 2013

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With trespass charmed, what creature seeks to dare
The stony confines of the leopard’s cage
And with courageous lungs to steal the air
Made bitter-sweet incense, steeped with her rage?

‘Tis but a mouse, she sighs – though clever be
His paws, and quick his tail, and sleek his ears,
And bright his little eyes – no more than he,
Who’d brave her vicious claws in all these years.

A tiny thing, that turns great beast undone;
Far smaller than the heart that finds to range
Beyond its bars a love surpassed by none.
Surprising tenderness, though source be strange –

A man in body, mind; in soul, a waif.
Poor cat, who’d catch a mouse to keep it safe.


Copyright (C) Vox Mortuum 2013

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So free you swim, though I would see you caught
In nets of softest linen or of silk –
Entwined in sheets, my will decreased to naught.
The gods laughed when I swore off all your ilk!

To love a Pisces, I would hold my breath –
Can fire and water mate? It’s worth a try,
Although this pleasure lead me to my death;
I’d rather lost at sea, than home and dry.

No few have said: the Ides of March, beware!
Though I would heed their warning, on the brink
Of its damnation begs my heart to dare
The chalice of your lips, from which I’d drink

A nectar of the gods — no sweeter wine;
It seems that Caesar’s doom is also mine.


Copyright (C) Vox Mortuum 2013

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“Prodigious birth of love it is to me,”
She quoted, fingers twining in his hair,
“Like foam-born Venus rising from the sea.
The problem is: it’s neither here nor there.

“Aye, that’s the rub I have,” she said, “to date –
So quick you’ve won all that my heart can give;
A fish may love a bird and seek to mate…
But where could star-crossed lovers ever live?”

“Choose us new realms,” he said. “Be not afraid,
For in your arms I find the hottest fire
Of Hell to be the sweetest nest e’er made.”
“A phoenix pair… ourselves birthed from our pyre.

“For you — the seraph mad, who makes me sane.”
“And you, my lady — my most joyful pain.”


Read an explanation of this sonnet here.

Copyright (C) Vox Mortuum 2013

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All through the day, a pirate for the hive,
Goes golden bee to plunder ev’ry flower
And steal its dust so that his queen may thrive.
No other purpose tasks each waking hour.

Industrious and tireless in flight –
Does lowly bee e’er feel him some regret
To leave the rose that wrapped him in her light?
Or does her perfumed softness he forget?

My hive’s abandoned, lady, and no queen
Could reign above the radiance of you –
So duty lost to love, in choice between;
I cleave me to the path the heart finds true.

With petals tight, the bud embraced the bee –
My lady, will you do no less for me?


Copyright (C) Vox Mortuum 2013

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“Truth is not beauty, nor,” she said, “reverse –
Is beauty, truth — though some would have it be.
For pretty truths are shallow, and what’s worse:
Subjective beauty, unmistakeably.

“Just look at you,” she said, “a warrior poet,
In battle forged; your flesh still wears its scars
And what they are to me (you may not know it) —
Adored. A shining nebula of stars.

“Your sky-blue eyes, your tarnished silver mane,
Your care-worn face: all these are priceless things.
To me each detail precious, both mundane
And magical — your snowy sweep of wings!

“Each flaw, a gem. I could go on at length.
My love is truth; your beauty is your strength.”


Copyright (C) Vox Mortuum 2013

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The tarot card was drawn, on velvet laid:
A sunless valley plain, and waging there
My silent battle — king of beast, and maid
Garbed all in white, lemniscate-haloed hair.

How can such comely hands still hold so fast
The lion’s jaws, and tame its awful bite?
Eternal soul knows worldly trials can’t last
And in due time will fade, as day to night.

Let “Courage”, then, be golden mask of Strength –
The visage calm that looks on tragedy
And bears a smile, assured its finite length.
Stand fast! Hold hard! And, in the end, be free!

A gentle touch, tenacious as a noose,
Restrains the might within — or lets it loose!


Copyright (C) Vox Mortuum 2013

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