Sonnets To The Earth
I – Dawn
A shimmering epiphany of gold
Erupting from the heart of night; a rose
Whose glinting petals over all unfold
To wake a world of beauty in repose.
Elusive riches of the day distilled:
Dissevered from the formless void of time;
Ethereal made tangible – unwilled,
Unbidden, unbridled – and yet sublime.
A moment’s meaning stolen from the dim
Uncertainty of life: a chance to lose,
Amid a lustrous morning’s breath, the grim
Awareness that we walk in dead men’s shoes.
The dawn is nature’s doting soul unfurled:
A light of reverence cast o’er the world.
II – Earth
Fertility and fruitless acres, still
Amid cyclonic history – whose gust
Is master over man, but not the will
Of lordless kingdoms wakened from the dust.
The earth arises in defiant spires,
With man as ever laying claim to his:
We revel, live, and die in our desires
While stone has want nor wish, but simply is.
And as the most courageous mountaineers
Descend to claim the old colossus slain,
Interminable time will siphon years;
A man will wither, and his foe remain.
The bone of barren rock, and flesh of field:
The ancient earth will give, but never yield.
III – Air
Nomadic breath of all creation: saint
Of hatchling jay, and spur of weathered sail;
A will obliged to answer no constraint,
For neither grit nor guile can tame the gale.
The soothing flourish of the evening breeze
Imparting comfort to the mewling foal;
The scourge of turbulent and blighted seas,
Whose wrath is apt to still the bravest soul.
An exhalation from the boundless wild
That wends its way into the great and small;
Ubiquitous elixir, nature’s child:
A nemesis to some, a part of all.
In pilgrimage unseen, without a sound:
In one nomadic breath, our life is bound.
IV – Fire
Of flitting flames and furious desire,
Of fickle fate and flickering affair;
For loves and hates and passions all afire
Shall peter into embers of despair.
In vulgar shadows, ever burning bright:
The warmth of blood, and man’s seraphic spark;
Without the gift of flame to fend the night,
The best of men are quarry for the dark.
And love – the ever blazing torch – whose light
Is manna to a world of dusk and gloom;
Illuminating all until the night
Consigns both love and lover to the tomb.
We are destruction’s breath in mortal frame:
Our flesh, a living pantheon of flame.
V – Water
Pulsating rivers surge incessant through
Forgotten reaches of the void; a dearth
Of life undone, unnumbered joys ensue
Where sorrows of the sky caress the earth.
The heavens over withered wilds are burst
On land that neither man nor vulture knew;
Relentless solitudes assuage their thirst:
Imbibe the deluge, reservoir, and dew.
Abyssal gorges brim and overspill
With precious essence; watercolours rise
From in the desert sand and arid still,
Wherein the tranquil spring of being lies.
The vacant eyes of weary men outpour
Their weathered souls, as ghosts upon the shore.
VI – Twilight
The opulence of day and grace of night
Entwined, and yet uncompromised; demure,
Envisioned bloom of half-surrendered light:
The dusk and dawn in twilight’s realm endure.
Apollo falters and his flame recedes,
His kingless sovereignty in silhouette;
For blessed darkness from the vista bleeds,
And Artemis will seize dominion yet.
In wisps and vapours stream the coming gloom,
Its shadows over blazing day prevail;
But light will linger in exotic plume
Against the silken night’s amorphous veil.
Between the vying gods, a vacant crown:
The blue and dim – divided, kindred, bound.
VII – Flora
Miraculous and noble ‘lesser’ life,
Akin to earth and fuller creatures both;
Endowed with neither care of joy or strife,
But fashioned for the modest aim of growth.
Concocted from the elements’ sublime
Chaotic surge, and carried in the soil
As if a womb; their only urge to climb
Toward the sun – to reap its love, their toil.
Vitality unburdened by the weight
Of thought – at once, to be and not to be;
To bloom in beauty unaware bestows a great
And quiet dignity on plant and tree.
Of humble spirits, and of colours gay,
They want for nothing but the light of day.
VIII – Fauna
Oh sweet and joyous life that burgeons, bursts
And gambols forth into existence; free
From that interminable nothing: nursed
Upon the verdant, sun-exalted lea.
Divinity that first in silence grew
Amid the grim perdition of the sea
Has soared to boundless liberty – and who
Among us never longed to fly with thee?
Let human beings unto other beasts
The full compassion of our hearts extend:
To find the virtues of our souls increased,
And end the sorrows of our honest friends.
The joy of life would be so rare a thing
If not for morning song on merry wing.
IX – Wilderness
Abundant realm of man’s archaic seat,
Of verdurous and plentiful expanse;
In whom we dwelled before the great conceit
Of human glory sealed us in our manse.
Innumerable sights of wonder wait
A step beyond our reach, and still we crowd
Behind our weathered walls and gloomy gates:
Too ‘civilised’ – pretentious, numb and proud.
There’s something lost to modern man who fought
His nature from the cradle, falling far
From our essential selves; so let us not
Forget – the wilderness is who we are.
Society’s constraints see man defiled,
For we are all but children of the wild.
X – Humanity
So much to answer for, our reasons owed
Not least unto ourselves; content to die
With little wisdom, grace or joy bestowed
Upon the world, but simply pass it by.
Another generation brought to be,
Inhabiting a realm that we designed;
Without a purpose in our lives, I see
No meaning in the void we leave behind.
Oh base humanity, I love you still,
As ego drags you to a worthless fate;
If only common souls revered the will
To set aside their urges, and create.
The sword of Damocles is poised to fall;
We mortal spirits – we are beggars, all.
XI – Bounty
My dreams are least of many treasures, I
Have all the world to love and call my own;
And if I weep, then I am glad to cry:
My joys outweigh the sorrow I have known.
The earth has harboured me in solitude,
Its branches grasping to avenge the night;
Delivered me to hope, and faith renewed,
Beset by morning’s unrelenting light.
The wilds have wakened me, the rose inspired,
My woes have washed away upon the waves;
This ancient sphere that I have long admired
Shall be my love and muse – or else my grave.
And from my first, until those final days,
I proudly walk this earth of ours amazed.
XII – Dusk
The still and silent majesty of night:
A nebulous abyss of stars unfurled;
Intoxicating all in subtle light
And quiet beauty of another world.
Familiar colours of the day begin
To harmonise and dim – obscure, arcane,
Unknowable – our realm enveloped in
The gloom of this mercurial domain.
Illuminated by the moon’s embrace:
The latent soul concealed in all is free
To wander through the night’s enchanted grace;
The day’s prosaic burdens cease to be.
The earth in seeping, soothing darkness drowned;
The second nature of our world is found.