Poems of Love and Lust
In my everyday life I was a latecomer to the experience of love and lust; indeed for various regrettable reasons I held myself back, so that when nature finally asserted itself and said “Enough”, the floodgates were opened. For quite a time, these themes were the dominant themes in my poetry. I absolutely needed to write imaginatively in order to deal with all the emotional turmoil.
Unashamedly I confess that there is a significant chunk of lust in this body of work – Pride of India is just one example. My lust-life has played itself out across a number of countries in different continents – I am a truly multicultural man! In this, I fit into a long tradition of people who have written about sex in far more frank and exciting ways than I have (in general) attempted. Perhaps more than I could ever have foreseen, I have been influenced by the highly moral but also delightfully colourful poetry of Edmund Spenser in The Faerie Queene. The Bower of Bliss made its mark.
The poetry of love is another story altogether. In my case it is more a poetry of frustrated love. Being of a somewhat romantic temperament, this has often led me into imagery of the grand and majestic, or the barren: imagery of oceans and wildernesses, for instance. Siberia is an example. This may seem rather hackneyed, and indeed the poetry is often immature, for a lot of it was written as far back as the 1990s, but these things are as they are. I myself cringe occasionally when I read my earlier love poetry, but I wouldn’t on that account consign it to the flames.
PRIDE OF INDIA
In my garden once there stood
A bower-burst of mauve delight
Showering the earth with all its might,
Now in my bed there flowers afresh
A Pride of India;
Body-burst of male delight,
Rapture of this summer night,
Feast of flesh, blossom bright,
My Pride of India.
My love rejected me.
The rivers of my soul ran cold
And heavy sat like frost
On bare and barren wold.
Those words, that breath
Like Arctic winds chill-whipped,
Or lashes of an ancient knout
Administered with salt.
Suffering, they say, is good,
All hard and white and pure;
But underneath there lies
The vileness of manure.
And now I’m bound fast and sure
In flat and loveless state;
There are no roads, no exit way,
From Siberia no escape.
The shadows of past loves lie long;
They keep me in their zone.
In all my paths they follow me,
Forbidding me the sun.
Shade can be a kindly thing,
A comforter and friend,
When cast by leafy tree or bush
Or green and cheerful frond.
But shade from granite monoliths
Is hard, not nurturing;
It kills all hope of future love
Like winter without spring.