Ian Stewart Black

Modern master of classical poetry

Month: June, 2020

To Love And Be Loved

My blood is forfeit, the sweat of my brow,
My tears attendant to your joy and pain;
Your dreams await me in my slumber now,
Your visions and my own become the same.
No longer wandering in search of home,
Nor grimly craving the return to dust;
Alone I penned the preface of this tome,
But every chapter hence belongs to us.
To keep you safe, or just to make you smile,
There are no dragons I would fear to slay;
If you should wound me, I would reconcile,
Resolved to love you ’til my dying day.
And I would follow you across the seas,
Or into hell…

…If you would fight for me.

Broken/Beautiful

She loves me not! Her hollow words
Like thunderbolts tore ribbons through
My heart; with callous fiction blurred,
Is anything I cherish true?

I held you safe against the dark,
And saw the light behind your eyes;
I felt my destiny in sparks,
And timeless hope at last arise.
I promised you that I would stay,
And loving you I felt complete;
A purpose filling every day,
This bitter life became so sweet.
I soothed your mind in times of grief,
And made confession as you slept;
I placed my trust into a thief –
And as you stole from me, I wept.

You stole the countless hours I spent
To fuel a love that was not there;
While every word I said, I meant,
You just pretended that you care.
You stole from me, from us, a life:
‘Our future’ was a joke to you;
To be as one in joy and strife –
You never did, nor wanted to.
With every sacrifice I made,
Requesting nothing in return,
My love was once again betrayed
As you prepared to watch us burn.

It never mattered how unfair,
How cruel and selfish you could be;
Oblivious to my despair,
Still you were all the world to me.
You shut me out, you pulled away,
And I did everything I could;
My life was yours if you had stayed –
Forgiving, as I always would.
I felt your judgement when I said
You were the sum of all my dreams;
But in your wake my dreams are dead,
And still you don’t know what love means.

Should I have visions of acclaim,
Or covet treasures of the age?
Would you respect a lust for fame
That no distinction would assuage?
Was I diminished for my zeal,
A lesser man for knowing this:
If anything in life is real,
I found it in your tender kiss.
No, I will not apologise
For my ambition set in stone:
For all that matters in my eyes
Is you, my love, and you alone.

With everything you have endured,
The scars you carry in this life;
I thought compassion was assured –
My ‘other half’, my ‘would-be wife’.
You held a mirror to my soul,
And told me what I long to hear;
What purpose served your spiteful role,
Becoming that which I had feared?
You do not claim to love someone,
You do not promise you will stay,
Nor offer dreams to build upon
Then break their heart and walk away.

As bitter as I sound, I am –
And still I cannot love you less;
My pride and broken heart be damned,
I live and die with your caress.
You hurt me, and you didn’t care,
You walked away when needed most,
You sullied every word we shared…
And still I long to have you close.
I write for your eyes even now –
It’s not a stranger, friend or me;
If you can find these words somehow,
Then maybe I can make you see.

If terror drove you to your flight
In fear that you would be ensnared,
Do you rejoice to see me fight
For us, and lay my spirit bare?
You know that you were safe with me,
Your body, heart, your soul and mind;
You were and are and would be free
To live a life that you define.
Do you now see that you were held
Not as a prize or precious stone,
But in this heart that loved you well
You hold a power all your own.

Should we look back and hold regret
For loving only to be lost?
Or envy us when he had yet
To find that hope would have its cost?
Would you have shuddered at my touch
If knowing then as you do now?
Or savoured every glance as much
And tried to make it work somehow?
Though pain has never hurt like this,
Nor loss been known to cut so deep,
I won’t regret a single kiss
Nor minute of surrendered sleep.

I won’t regret that I have fought,
And fight to save us even now;
Should all my efforts be for nought,
I will uphold my solemn vow.
I dare you, coward, find your heart!
It’s beneath you to surrender;
We are not meant to be apart –
This I need you to remember.
You may decide to start anew
With someone half a world away,
But someone here and now loves you
Much more than words could ever say.

Break my heart again, so be it,
But walk the hardest path of all;
Do not give up, and never quit,
And I will never let you fall.
Nothing on this earth could stop us,
If you would only take my hand;
Return my faith in you, and thus
Begin the life we both have planned.
But if you shun the touch of fate –
The greatest happiness I’ve known…
A part of me will always wait
For you, my love. And you alone.