Sonnet to Iambe

When most I wink then does my mind best jest,
For all the day it views things unrespected,
And when it tires, from humour finds no rest,
With just one spark, all further thoughts affected.
Then thou whose laughter laughter doth incite,
How would thy laughter’s sound form happy song,
On this drab day with eyes playfully bright,
When to my weary eye thy grin shines strong?
How would I say mine ears be blessed made
By hearing such a joke as thou could say,
When in despair I wallow in my shade,
Until your clever wit doth make my day?
All days are grey and boring as can be,
And nights bring whimsy with my Iambe.

Elaine Bento  2016
Parody of William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 43 (my favourite sonnet), inspired by my boring job and the Greek goddess of humour, Iambe

Dukkha

Why must one die while the other remains?
Both lovely in their way,
both equally wicked:
with this one’s charm
and that one’s wit.
Two sides of the same coin,
yet they cancel each other out.
As one strengthens,
the other is vanquished
and as the first weakens,
so the other takes the reign.
It seems both have purpose
when the other is there to thwart them.
And yet,
there must come a day
when one must be vanquished
indefinitely
by the other.
This is not the tale
of Light and Darkness
or Good and Evil.
This is the tale
of Innocence and Experience;
the child-self and the superego.
Though both learn from each other,
throughout a lifetime,
there will come a day
when one will overshadow the other,
and when this day comes
the ego under their mercy
will be forced to look at himself from afar
in only a short time,
as the hands of Death
seek to rid the world of this imbalance.
The child and the super will become mute—
one already dead,
the other shamed—
as Ego, their charge,
must suffer to look at
the choice they have made for him
(for once unaware of the consequences)
to hand him to Death, the rehabilitator,
to suffer the toils
of criminal and selfish men before him
as if they were the same.
And yet are they not
the same?
He and the criminals?
Lost on the treacherous path
to enlightenment?
One can only hope
that he will wish to do it again:
to suffer under the conflicted rule
of Child-self and Superego
and make up for what they have done
when Death allows him back
into the next life
and again
until he will suffer no more
and the coin becomes a sphere.

Elaine Bento  April 24, 2017

I’m Blue, It’s True

Blue is a colour you never get used to,
even though your eyes are most comfortable with it.
People say that “life finds a way,” but…
I just see blue.
And that’s all there ever will be.
And I’m happy.
Well, happy as I’ll ever be.
Being me.
Blue.
Blue is where your heart breaks.
Not like that cliché, drama queen, tween scene,
“Are you breaking up with me?!”
No, that’s some other, brighter colour.
I’m talking about genuine true blue,
but diluted to a serene clarity and with a touch of grey.
It’s like, you’re not shook up,
but you also know you will never be the same again,
like that thing that you thought you were
just isn’t there anymore.
Like they took it.
And you just have to accept it.
So that, even though you’re calm and clear,
you’re not your true self;
you’re diluted.
And some painters don’t understand that.
They just think
that you’re the colour of the sky.
But skies don’t focus on their identity.
No, that’s for other, brighter colours.
Not me.
I’m blue.

Elaine Bento  April 22, 2017

Latin America

Poesy plus Polemics

 

spanish-village-rhodes-rumsey “Spanish Village” by Rhodes Rumsey

 

terracotta skies

a warm roofing for

modern humilities

privately plagued

by repentance of

uneasy histories

conquests of empire

throne upon throne

cut through seas

to indigenous suns

of new continents

heritage residues

language religion

eclipsed ancient

cultures with layers

six centuries deep

stealing ritual magic

from fortified temples

converting the pagan

subduing the savage

released from the

rapture of jungles

consigning to mystery

secrets of seeming

improbable intellect

complex mathematics

prophetic astronomy

fine architectural

methods of monument

oh so much gained

against oh so much lost

an accounting elusive

of ultimate cost

there’s no science of

what might have been

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Am I Bridal?

Why the kerfuffle?
You’ve seen this before
With each added ruffle
You still ask for more

There’s no perfect number
Of beads you can stick
It will only encumber
And delay your pick

So make your decision
I know that it’s scary
You know you’re a vision
So don’t be so wary

He’ll see you, his queen
In all of your glory
Most beautiful he’s seen
And you won’t be sorry

When you see his face
You’ll know you’re perfect
And all of that lace
Would have no effect

On where he would place
Your heart to protect
And forever embrace

Elaine Bento  April 19, 2017
Inspired by Dictionary.com’s Word of the Day and Say Yes to the Dress Canada

The Wounded Stag

Passing amid the deepest shade
Of the wood’s sombre heart,
Last night I saw a wounded deer
Laid lonely and apart.

Such light as pierced the crowded boughs
(Light scattered, scant and dim,)
Passed through the fern that formed his couch
And centred full on him.

Pain trembled in his weary limbs,
Pain filled his patient eye;
Pain-crushed amid the shadowy fern
His branchy crown did lie.

Where were his comrades? where his mate?
All from his death-bed gone!
And he, thus struck and desolate,
Suffered and bled alone.

Did he feel what a man might feel
Friend-left, and sore distrest?
Did Pain’s keen dart, and Grief’s sharp sting
Strive in his mangled breast?

Did longing for affection lost
Barb every deadly dart;
Love unrepaid, and Faith betrayed, —
Did these torment his heart?

No! leave to man his proper doom!
These are the pangs that rise
Around the bed of state and gloom,
Where Adam’s offspring dies!

Charlotte Brontë  before 1833 (exact date unknown)