A Poem: As Long as Life Beats

As I have been delving recently into a tattered folder of over 50 poems I wrote between 1994 and 2003, I have had a strange sense of reading my own soul’s history. Most of these poems, that I thought were almost perfect at the time, now make me wince and cringe with their sentiments; but they document my own growth during a time when I returned to the page again and again to process the stuff of life. This one is based on parts of The Song of Solomon:

As Long as Life Beats

My arms clutch emptiness
If I wake without the guardians
Of friendship and daylight so I see
I am alone and you have gone

And I take to the streets
To look for you in the places
I'd be comfortable to find you
Speaking vainly to those who should know you 

You may tell me another enigma
You have hidden in your heart
Then walk away into the night
But I'll follow you for an answer

And when you turn your face away
I'll choose the better part
Leaving my place in the firelight
So I can be under your gaze

Eyes without expectation
Eyes that are not disappointed
Those are the eyes I will die for
As many times as leaves have fallen 

Arms that rest in completion
Hands that tell me it has all been done
Those are the arms and the hands I will die in
As many times as day has run

(March 2001)

If you are in the mood for more poetry then I recommend you check out Barbara Lane’s Blog, “this | liminality”, where she is posting some of her dad’s poetry.

… and there’s more of my stuff here.

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One Response

  1. Mr. Jacklin, you suggest a “wince” upon reading older work. I confess that I often do similarly with blog posts less than an hour old! I’m thankful to good friend and fellow blogger, Barbara Lane, (this l liminality) for putting me onto your considerable body of excellent work. I’ve signed up to be on the email list. As a fellow lover of words I must say, you got gooder at ’em dan me did.

    Thanks! Robert Rife

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