Sitting at the side of the road pitching pebbles in the ditch, yakking with Poetry about love songs and such. She asks if I remember falling in love with her.
Roses are red, violets are blue, I imagine. Or a Limerick. Someone from somewhere rhyming with something. No, she says. Not what the teacher told you, or romancing your mom with crayons and paper.
That would probably be the haiku about sitting alone with the stones then. No. That’s when our eyes met in the college bookstore. We touched. You were infatuated. Love happened later.
Of course. I remember now.
Orpheus. Eurydice. Hermes. Rilke. The deep, uncanny mine of souls, blind lake hanging overhead, that long slow march and the infinitely gentle touch of the god which hurt like an undesired kiss.
I saw that entire landscape was but a single breath. A batted eyelash. I knew then you were well beyond my meagre self, but if I hung around, made myself useful maybe, well something.
Roses are red. Violets are blue. Sugar is sweet, my love. But not as sweet as you. I am here for the dance, not to pay the bills or make you popular. I’m not about tomorrow, the next day or somebody picking up a pen.
She chucks a stone into the runoff, smiles like ten million daisies bathed in the light of the first born; reaches over and takes my hand. She says I’m not much of a dancer, but a good fella to have around.
Written for Desperate Poets
The haiku mentioned is by Mizuhara Shuoshi, from the book “Modern Japanese Haiku, An Anthology. The Rilke poem from “The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke” translated and edited by Stephen Mitchell.
Honourable mention to Jack Gilbert and “The Dance Most of All”.