Sounds of Meaning
for here and now we put our all:
every single card man and woman
has ever played laid out
on the table, a poker-face enthralled
with all that is true in you;
with you, my love, only with you
will hands no longer
shuffle uncertainly; for they know
without the right hand to hold
what use is this game we play?
and say: what is a poem? if written
only to be hidden away?
holding my pen before you it seems
my every poem was incomplete;
for what does it take
to complete a poem,
but that single reader who understands
and breathes unbidden
their life into it?
and as a poem is lost without the word,
what use is the word
with no one to write it?
or to speak it, or to feel
the very syllables within it unify
into a single sound of meaning
that brings it to life?
otherwise there is no meaning to its sound,
no sound to its meaning;
for sound is not just in the speaking
but the listening; in its very breathing;
and say this: what is a man
if he cannot join with his wife?
simply a fork with no knife
with which to fully dine on life;
and what is a woman
without her husband?
a tapestry of unending sea
with no break upon the sand;
or else what use is our earth to ground
if never to be sown in the world;
and what is the worth of loss to sound
if never to be spoken at all?
and say: what are we
but fine flowers in a valley:
still complete, still beauteous possibly
and of perfumed scent, but how lonely unfound:
what a loss it is
with no one to touch,
or to watch adrift,
its peached petals lent to the wild wind;
to raise its stalks sweetened by dew
or the moonlight tripping
across the grass, blade by blade
to trade life's lone compass
for this lateness
that burns in the night:
and yet who would guess
how bright it passes,
or how lightly kilned
in the arms of each other,
a delicate whiteness
to outshine any dark;
where the heavens sing to the stars,
while swans sleep under wing
and doves sway cooing
to the song of the lark;
still as beautiful alone
as with two; but what would they do?
but all the more incomplete, too,
for how would the story of life go
without the honour
of growing old beside you, my love?
for without you
there is no glory
to living at all.