Ian Stewart Black

Modern master of classical poetry

Month: March, 2016

Solemn Days And Sleepless Nights

The shackles of a lifetime broke upon
Your word, for in the promise of that breath
I saw the light of destiny – a dawn
To stir my soul from in this living death!
You spoke a dream, its essence giving shape
To futures I had never faith to see:
Emboldened by your love, I would escape
From all that festers at the heart of me.
And so I tended to our fledgling hope,
Content to let my boundless passion burn;
Its warmth consoling as I sought to cope
In solitude until my love’s return.
Relentless were the nights, but sorrow’s chill
Was powerless – your word was with me still.

In the midst of your silence, I remained
Forever faithful, trusting all to fate;
That same conspirator I long disdained
Contriving in the shadows as I wait.
Far longer than sincerity decreed,
Believing this the toll that love was owed,
I suffered in your absence, and agreed
To bear the burden that my hope bestowed.
Naively sure that life, which had before
Unwoven my desires at every turn,
Would grant us happiness forevermore,
And all its customary cruelty spurn…
A fool was I to hope, I should have known:
The dream that we conceived was mine alone.

But still the dream survives, its embers burn
Amid the fragments of my heart, and all
That now transpires is mired in taciturn
Affliction – better days beyond recall.
A whisper pleads that I relinquish you,
And trust in foreign roads yet unforeseen:
Such consolations yield no answer to
The faded promise of what might have been.
All that I am is yours, in exile as
In love – and I will wait, as days gone by;
Enduring every lash that sorrow has
To give before I suffer love to die:
Condemned for all my wretched life to rot,
And eulogise a love that you forgot.

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Frost On The Ground

So much of me has perished to the storm; I
Tremble in the wake of reckoning, undone
By hope – the only solace is to warm my
Flesh amid the light of an illusive sun.
Unjustly spared the fury of the sea while
Truth and beauty wither in the depths; denied
The peace that I deserve to rot in exile,
Mourning that the better part of me has died.
In all the lives I dreamt for us together,
Nature never seemed so cruel as to beget
A soul consumed in memory – forever
Longing to recapture, trying to forget.

Promise Of Tomorrow

Yearning whispers in the starlight:
All that we might be has haunted
Me in sleepless isolation;
Longing for the magic of night
To entwine us both – undaunted
In the struggle for salvation.
Pitiless, the barbs of daylight
Soon unravel all I’ve wanted,
And I fall to desolation;
Love is bittersweet.

Happiness had fled and hope had
Fallen long before you ever
Burned into my shadow, naming
Sorrow their successor. To adore
As I do now, to sever
Stoicism with a flaming
Vow, and to enliven my sad
Soul amid your beauty – nevermore
Will I despair, proclaiming
Love a fool’s conceit.

Years of bitterness forsaken
Perish in the sweetness of your
Smile, wherein my spirit’s sorrow
Fades, and boundless dreams awaken
To the light of passion’s grandeur.
Only now I cease to borrow
Time: for you, my life has taken
Form – my heart has taken wing – sure
Of the promise of tomorrow;
Love is still replete.

Once incited, such a passion
Blossoms evermore – I vow that
Neither flame nor steel may sunder
What we share, until my ashen
Heart lies cold beneath the ground. At
Your command awaits a thunderous
Desire; for your compassion,
All my reverential words attest
Your peerless grace and wonder.
Love knows no retreat.

Thus I long to know the substance
Of your heart as surely as I
Yearn to feel the touch of your skin;
To decipher you at a glance,
Understanding what desires lie
Hidden in your eyes. That our twin
Souls are bound by fate, or by chance,
Sets aflame my fading light; by
Your angelic kiss defined – in
Love, at last complete.

[This poem was written for someone very important to me; not just about them, but for them – for their eyes only. Its presence here for all to see is a testament to the cruelty of reality, and the frailty of dreams.]