Ian Stewart Black

Modern master of classical poetry

Month: October, 2013

Cemetery Gates

The weary bones of gentlemen beneath
Are blessed, for once their bodies could enact
The dreaming of their souls. Though underneath
They slumber, they arose with hearts intact,
And all that set aflame their spirits came
To pass. They have but slipped into the night
Of one most enviable day – that same
Ambition did their flesh and will ignite.
So neither mourn the man who tasted well
Of love, nor think his treasures all resigned
To death: for he shall never know this hell
Where passion ripens every heart but mine.
I suffer all my years desirous of
Desire, but nevermore profess to love.


The Death Of A Year

The summer of my mirth has fled:
Long since wilted are the lily,
Rose and dahlia; the sun despairs
in darkness, and the leaves are dead.

My blood is nectar for the moon:
Rotting apples of the season
Litter listless streets, where blossoms sought
To make their merry way in June.

For death has come, the world is bare:
Stillness falls on all in mourning;
Dreary clouds in desolation weep
From heavens greying in despair.

Our happiness and hope exhaust:
Roseate and gilded leaves are
Torn from withered trees; Another year
Is dead, and all we had is lost.

Shadowed Regions Of The Soul

In shadowed regions of the soul
Upwell the tributary streams
Of humankind, and all we seem
Is but a glimmer of the whole.

One river surges to and fro,
Another trickling in the deep;
The shadowed soul begins to weep,
The riverbank to overflow.

One turning backward on itself,
Its all – to no avail – conveyed;
Another sees the light, but they
Are one – and both – and all the self.

Thus man is shadow, light and gloom:
To his intrinsic self averse,
Beneath his radiance dispersed,
And absentee to every room.

Thus man is wolf and howl and moon,
All seeing eye and lord of hunts;
The pilgrim and the star at once,
Of flesh and welkin matter hewn.

Thus man is Harlequin, himself
Pierrot too, and Columbine;
He loves, and does his soul enshrine:
His yearning set upon itself.

Thus man is but a fleeting role:
Illusory conceit to mask
Our darker selves – the truths which bask
In shadowed regions of the soul.

Promethean Man (Haiku)

Promethean man
Devours his brothers’ marrow:
Life from death, from life.