The Valley of the Lily

poems by Corwin Everglade

On a Christmas Card

That year you sent on Christmas day

A card as full as Santa's sleigh

Of words array'd

With thoughts so gay

They'll fill my dreams and shine alway.

So fair a gift can mountains sway

For it means you cared to say,

"Merry Christmas,

Bright Christmas,

We like your smile, so smile away!"

Any price a soul would pay

For one kind word, a friendly wave,

But there's no price

On things so nice

Repay I can't except your way.

Able was I ere I saw Elba

Able was I ere I saw Elba.

I saw you in dreams

In the setting sun,

By glistening streams

In the billowing breeze

All smiles and fun.

There before me I saw Elba.

As the waters flow'd

And the oceans swell'd

In a dark ship's hold

I awaited you

Rocking my dreams to bed

Night and day I saw Elba,

Saw nought but your burning sands

I tried to see through to your heart

Yet I had but your face in my hands.

Able was I before Elba

Till I'd chosen this way.

I never knew what I wanted

To this day

I knew not who I awaited

in my dreams,

Who it was that frolick'd

in those streams.

When I was thrown upon Elba

I only knew

I wanted a ladder to heaven

or wings that flew.

Yet your beauty I turned to see

Leaving all behind,

Leaving faith and goodness both

For your eyes could blind.

But I never saw you then

even in my dreams

I sought you by the rushes (then)

Hoping you would scream.

Whene'er I passed an island

I always paused to see

If behind that mask and veil

Elba beckon'd me.

Often have I wonder'd,

But never light of day

Into Elba's forest

Could ever cut its way.

O Take Me Home

O take me home

Where the clouds hang low

O'er hills and vales

man never furrow'd

Where the boundless green

neither ax'd nor plough'd

Cloaks the land around

Spills from ev'ry bough

O let me breathe

The healthy mountain air

Whose fingers toss in clouds

My warm black hair

And kiss the fragrance

The virgin meadows share

When dewdrops cold

And op'ning flow'rs they wear.

O let me sleep

'neath the stars so bright

That bathe the heav'ns

in their tender light

While all around

I see the flight

of glow-worms

In my dreams all night

O let me walk

By the streams that flow

Down the hills, cold and proud,

Majestic and slow,

Behold them glide

Over rocks all aglow

In the purpling mist

'neath the o'erhanging bow.

O let me drink

At the mountain spring

That laughs 'n quivers

When the church bells ring

Here let me rest

My weary mind and limbs

Above the trees

And hear His voices sing.

Not a tear will I shed

For this wet grassy bed

For this grass for these flowers

That cradle my head

It'll soon be a dream

Through which I've sped

This dream will I seek

In the land of the dead.

Quay of Eden

Heaven's so far, O so far, far away

Those were the words your tears seem'd to say

Glittering golden in bright shining lights

Through the darkness of the chandelier'd night.

I still see your sparkling black-blue gown

Shaded by cascading tresses of down

As soft music played to your moistened lips

And a dream died away like a will-o-the-wisp.

Delicate stars shining far, far above

Sweeping to earth on the curve of your brow

Spill in the ocean of deepest blue eyes

Shimmering, twinkling like crystals of ice.

I can see before me a dark, windy night

Your shivering feet so tender and light

The precious words then filling your eyes

That you kept from my own as if that were your right.

Heav'n was so far, oh so far, far away

Full many days all my dreams show'd me stay

Alone on the Quay of the now lonely town

Alone in the Garden of Eden to drown.

Could ever a thief be as cruel as this

To make off with all that one ever call'd bliss

While over above twinkl'd all heaven's stars

And the lingering breeze spoke of pretty red flowers.

The warmth of a home seems so far, far away

Never again will a hearth feel so gay

As it did on that snowy bleak winter night

When I held a fair hand in the flickering light.

It never did matter how many walk'd round

They had their beer and we dar'd make no sound

I never did guess what you'd soon have to say

All I read in your eyes was the message of May.

Heav'n was so far, O so far, far away

When I learnt that the picture would soon fade away

With never a sigh or a wave of the hand

You left for a prize far across desert sands.

I hop'd to see tears wet your cheeks so white

Precious drops to which I've no right

I will not be left here in Eden behind

When I've been torn and cast from your mind.

This Morning Joy

This morning joy I want to share

With all the world so full of care

From God in heav'n it comes I know

To all his children down below.

It was a feeling very new

That made me sit and think of you,

and of the Lord who loves me so

Who shelters all who live below.

The slanting rays of golden hue

That seep into my room anew

The sounds of water swirling slow

He gave to all of us below.

The thin white clouds, the flocks of birds

The dewdrops cool and whisper'd words

All the laughter the rising sun

He meant for all his little ones.

A little boy will soon go past

And on each porch a paper cast

When he smiles and speaks so shrill

You know the father loves you still.

There's the milkmaid walking down

The gentle kind who ne'er can frown

When you see that face so brown

You know for sure he loves this town.

Ev'ry morning may the dawn

Fill with flowers ev'ry lawn

So that the children strolling by

May know the love of God on high.

See the Jacarandas Blooming

See the jacarandas blooming

Say the Summer's fast approaching

See the blue flow'rs on the ground

But I won't be 'round.

See the feeble flowers pending

From the branches strong, unbending

Purple carpets all around

But I won't be 'round.

See the heav'nly crosses shining

In my dreams a choir's singing

Hear the chapel organ sound

But I won't be 'round.

See the good ol' banner waving

O'er the tower now echoing

Rev'rent voices newly found

But I won't be 'round.

Hear the long-drawn chime announcing

Dinner, solemn thoughts arousing

Stand to toast the past unwound

But I won't be 'round.

See the shadows slowly creeping

'cross the hall its candles flaring

With its boards yet keeping count

Of the boys who paid their pound.

Pandora's Land

A fairy land, a never, never world

Dew drops of honey, on petals curl'd

Painted in purple like the evening flown

And giggly mists all frozen in stone.

Laden trees, full of pearly fruit

On swaying branches, touching the roots

Cover'd in velvet by the flowing brook

And eddying drops with a golden look

Delicious peace, a cool, cool night

The sounds of silence, the lovely sight

Of a faint crescent adorning the sky

A fading whisper, drooping to die

The morning warmth, the chilly, rosy glow

The waking chirps, spilling below

The lifting vapours and fair tender light

Filtering through the fingers of Night

The friendly sprites, the naughty, fancy dreams

Now come to life, and fill the streams

With our own faces, and twirling little waves

Spreading like lace, over cloudy trays

Far, far away, the huts of men

Fade into view, and kill the glen

They rise from; discordance bring

To all the world though laughter ring

For they laugh, their merry, hearty laugh

At the pain others feel

They drink to health in fiery, flaming ways

Then begin to count the other's days.

Give 'em all, the pretty shiny things

The rocks throw up, for which they kill

Give 'em plenty, they'll strive and seek for want

Feeding the fire wood makes it rage and taunt.

Ha! Amazing thought! Pandora's land

Where bread grows fast on trees at hand

Alack the place! Joy they'd none.

For there sat man in the setting sun.

The Urchin

Early in the morning

They heard his plaintive voice

Ringing through the side-streets

of the silent town

He sounded almost wailing

Strange, bereft of choice

Off'ring to pull wild weeds

and clear the earthy down.

He tarried at their old gate

His hoe manfully borne

And call'd to them a second time

Like a pup forlorn.

"May I weed the way?" he asked,

his voice with hope mellow'd

"I'll do it for a measly sum."

Yet no one went below.

"Sister! Do allow me,

I'm hungry and cold

I earn at times a penny,

A hoeing by the road."

A voice was heard in answer

The window curtains through

"How much must I offer

And will you labour true?"

"Believe me, he pleaded,"

And raised his shining eyes

"I ask no more than needed

Why must I tell you lies?

Without the work I hunger

And sister and my mom

It's for their bread I labour

It's I who feed the home."

The curtain's drawn, no answer

Descends to comfort him

He draws the latch and enters

And stoops to pick the thing.

He walks up to the doorway

And pleads with hopeless face,

"I may be small but always

have done the work of men."

"O let me once my sister

Show you how I'll do

Anything you whisper

Quick as thought for you."

She's come down to the doorway

She hesitates to tell

Her children are still sleeping

He mustn't plead or yell.

"Go," she says, "begone boy,

I need no help from you"

"Alas!" comes the answer

"Please have mercy, do."

Now the lady wavers

She must begin her chores

And his voice brings jitters

As he stands at her door.

"You had the nerve to enter,"

she screams, her eyes distraught,

"And must I hear your banter?"

her voice with distress fraught.

"Alas," he pleads, "I never

Meant to pain your heart

Here's the morning paper

Just take it to your hearth."

With that he left and never

Came that way again

The morning lost forever

His charming, gentle strain.

The Song's Poem

Oh for a song from far away,

Speaking of waves and the snowy spray,

The soft, pleasant sounds,

The opening wounds,

The floating sensations of a fair, new, day.

The call of a bird, the diving whale,

The wettest of shimmers as voices pale,

The flying fish,

The forgotten wish,

The twisting streets in a Summer gale.

The billowing sails their haste betray,

Tugging a bark upon its way.

The drop in the sea,

The life that could be,

Far from the shores of a land cold and grey.

Undulations in a spreading tone,

Now you feel forlorn and alone.

A Chinese feel,

To a muted peal,

A peep and a wail and forever gone.

A Venetian Summer amidst the strings

Of a cold, deep lyre that flouts its springs

Of alluring crystal,

And cold, winter petals,

Join in the dance in the fairies' rings.

A captivating opening eye.

A haunting melody makes you sigh.

The cadence shudders,

The glass balls drop,

Another fire burns on high.

The teasing men at the open bars,

The blushing faces and op'ning flow'rs.

The ending songs,

The forgiven wrongs,

Smoke in the gun of a million stars.

The Sicilian song of a fall of tears

Surrounding long-lost never-found dears,

Wells up from the deep showy vales,

Bathing the honour, hiding its smears.

A bleeding hand on the bouncing keys,

Plays a piece that knows no peace.

A restless heart,

Sold in the mart,

Fails to find the deep, blue seas.

There's no end to such as these,

Where they begin, there they cease,

In a circle,

Dark and purple,

Drinking life down to the lees.

Death in the village

Death in the village on a palm-woven cot,

In an old, little room, perspiring and hot,

The wide-open doors as the people pass by,

Warm Summer breeze and the kid's little cry.

Clothes in the wardrobe, here, the fourth wall,

An old woman grieving alone in the hall,

Thin and wither'd, hungry and tir'd,

Staring and haggard, in her own thoughts mir'd.

Stunn'd-looking men keeping watch at the door,

Old and young gather, o'er him to pore,

Wailing and weeping come from within,

The movements stop, hot decay sets in.

Out of the desert, new faces appear.

Long-lost relations shedding tears,

Before the old lady bent with care,

Enemies're forgotten ... all sigh, repair.

The coffin's kept open outside the door.

Joss sticks a burning, flowers galore,

Scores of strange women stand, sit or weep,

The men linger, wander, kids hide and peep.

Visitors come, stand by the dam,

A camera whirrs, then silence reigns,

The Father now enters, bearded, white, crude,

Some join in prayers, some sway, some brood.

The coffin is taken by twenty strong men

Off to the church, over the glen,

Then to the graveyard through ancient groves,

Beneath the palms and branches low,

crowd past a lake, wade through pools,

Tread up again on a thin, winding road

All mud and ruts, and beetles and sores.

There lies the grave, yawning and bor'd.

The prayers are over. Two men get in

To help lower the clos'd coffin.

Somebody walks up with bags full of flow'rs.

Handfuls are pour'd in in brilliant show'rs,

As all gather'd are ask'd to leave,

The old are escorted away from the scene.

A few remain, his kith and kin.

They watch till the earth has swallow'd him.

Death in the village, not a single old vest,

No solemnity as befits sunset.

Life in its real with its dirt, pain and loss

Goes in a whirl 'round the colour and joss.

The crowding old men, no stately sight.

Ev'ry sound to dignity a blight.

But everything in death as in life,

Death liv'd in full on the point of a knife.

The Picture on the Bedspread

Blue curves, wriggles,

Slender twists and struggles,

faint and shining,

quick and climbing, crawling, flying,

up into the quivering sky.

Blue flames flashing,

Silver stripes washing,

into the world

of curl'd, yellow, mellow,

streaks of brilliant fire.

Set in pearl and gold leaf,

Against a black-glu'd sheaf

of sky backgrounds,

sprinkl'd with spicy red, dread

flowing down the highway river.

Silent procession mourning,

Of the brilliant living.

Money's their lives.

When they die, in a ditch of kitsch,

Another succumbs to their lucre.

Red lights against pitch black,

Dark as eternity's back,

God's reverse,

They go on driving, looking not perceiving,

Not heeding the warning.

So full of wildest pleasure,

Wallowing in stolen treasure,

Becoming numb,

Insensitive to the fine, sublime,

Incapable of feeling.

Forc'd to compromise,

To think otherwise

being a sin

Never mention'd, pardon'd, committed,

In the kingdom of wealth.

Art is dead, finds scarce a grave

Where it could find none so deprav'd

As would suffer or let suffer

In a prosperous world, curl'd, yellow,

that knows no sorrow.

Can't write a poem, write a poet!

Say the style is bad. It's his style.

Were he to be

What you think he could, would, should,

He'd be another, not he.

Try to take it all away,

A poem from its poet,

A man from his (own) self,

A baby from its moma, pa, ma,

Try, it's all you can do, anyway.

No right to life, whose life?

Lock it up, force feed it (food)

Order it remain

Call them all mad who believe

He is, where none can keep from going.


It started the same way, with fire and sticks and stones.

The language was in danger, they said, o'er broken bones,

And broken dreams in tatters, and hearts with hope forlorn,

But they had weighty matters that couldn't wait till morn.

On the streets and highways, they painted o'er the signs.

If roads spoke a language, it would be theirs this time.

They turn'd to shops and theaters. They tore down all the boards,

Those names would sound much sweeter if written in their codes.

Then it had to happen. The buses had it wrong.

They got to name your places. You just danc'd along.

As if those lifeless numbers could do them any harm,

But never mind the tourists, It's got lengthy arms.

It mov'd to the office, crept in, cold and slow,

The alien typewriter surely had to go.

They said it was not needed. It never typ'd their way,

At least not in the language that alone holds sway.

It finally invaded the last of reason's forts

Hard and long defended against the blinding force.

All those sacred places would now speak as they chose,

And all the holy virgins to them alone expose.

I struggle to remember the old, untainted days, (when)

This seem'd a place of refuge to men of ev'ry race.

All the flow'rs are wither'd, gone, the buds are white and weak.

I feel It gnawing at my bones. I know I now must leave.

To my Grandpa

Entering a world of joy in my grandfather's arms,

Was there e'er a safer nest so full of charms ?

The first thing I remember, a beaming, friendly face,

And pow'rful hands, big and strong, cradling me with grace.

He always ador'd me, they said, when I was grown,

As tall as he, a fact I'd strangely always known,

Flying to the ceiling, in his arms - grandpa's own,

A tiny ball toss'd in the hall, watch'd o'er by eyes that shone.

Waiting by the window for the familiar tread,

On the narrow mountain path, a whitesy, curly thread,

To see his face all shining, perspiring and hot,

Dash down the hill, red, screaming, to my own, dear grampa's heart.

By the tumbling river, high i' th' cosy hills,

Carrying his walking stick, feeling very thrill'd,

On his table, 'midst the dinner, seated by his head,

Plying a towel with all my strength, "Good boy," my grandpa said.

Walking to the station, lugging the massive torch,

Running 'round majestic firs that reach to heav'ns porch,

Traipsing down the rope bridge, worm-worn and full of holes,

Nothing need you ever fear, grampa'll save your soul.

When you want a little duck, want to see it swim,

Grampa floods the bath-room and puts a duckling in.

The water's just too shallow. Duck only finds its feet.

Yet what does it matter, when everything's so sweet ?

They bring the huge beer bottles, open 'em at dinner time,

I'd get to use my own li'l cup and go to sleep at nine.

All the Christmas season, carollers are trooping in.

And Santa comes, and pastors, and grampa's always in.

The heavy, teak almirah, the easy chair so huge,

All those things mysterious that were my own refuge,

When someone us'd a ruler, when something spilt or broke,

For grandpa's feel about them could comfort, soothe, bring hope.

Awaiting pearly hailstones, longing for the moon,

Asking for the glow-worms and the silver spoon,

I found 'em all i' th' mountains where my grandpa liv'd,

Found 'em in his hearty hug, in ev'rything he did.

Your Nakedness

The smallness of the morning

impresses itself upon your spirits,

waning with the growing light.

Awake, you remain,

in a land of dreamy shadows,

Merging into the background

You wrap as a cloak around yourself

To hide that which is lewd,

shameful, ugly, sinful,

Your nakedness, your spirit, you.

Hoping they wouldn't notice, approach,

look, smile, in this light, at you.

They of the rais'd spirits,

Pretty clothes, fair feathers,

Winning smiles, smooth faces,

glistening skins, fragrant bodies,

Standing close enough to touch,

In another world.

You hope they wouldn't notice

Your bended back, sweaty neck,

Creas'd forehead, ruffl'd hair,

Or your thousand sorrows and fears.

You blanche unseen,

Bathing in a river of your own passion

They can never approach,

Hide your nakedness in the

soft weeds on the banks

Amidst painful, stabbing thoughts

Of all that you lack,

Pull the hood lower.

Wish the graves would open

To swallow you with Grace.

Remember being held by the ankle

in a snaky river,

Saved from black death

By a hand drawing you back,

wet, slimy, sham'd.

Remember your lying on the rock,

Your clothes drying, your soul soggy,

Eyes looking up, not wanting

to see those around you.

Drawing and weaving black

shadows into a cloak

around you.

You remember her face,

Your excitement, her disdain.

She knows your cloak of fear,

Knows you fear to love,

fear to kiss, fear to hug,

fear to do what your body

screams for, fear to sin.

You know you will not be seen

by your own father and mother

with a girl, hand in hand.

You know you cannot speak

under their glaring eyes,

Cannot be

What you want to be,

Cannot do

What life invites you to.

You cannot sin in their eyes

Even through innocent moves.

Helpless to helplessness,

No thing or will

To call your own,

No moment when you can

Be yourself

And not have to explain

Where you were, what you did,

Whom you met.

She knew your helplessness,


So you hide in your strength,

Your weakness,

Display it in full,

Show the world your morals,

And slowly fool

Your life out of its shadows,

Out of its own domain,

Get it all entangl'd,

Entrapp'd and staid,

Beat it, choke it, starve it,

Till its struggles fade.

And nothing's left to speak of,

And the spirit's still.

None will e'er behold

Your skin and spill,

Into raptures of amazement

At the naked you,

The light in darkness

That grew for itself,

Of its own volition,

In its own soil,

The way it wanted,

To become itself,


The Fall of the Guitarist

He really us'd to love the strings his fingers flew along,

Gliding down with slicing wings, coaxing out a song.

He gave them years, tormented, dissatisfied and hot,

He strung on them his dreams and hopes, attainable or not.

As a lonely, worried boy, he'd found his truest friends,

Found in them the purest joy, and learnt their moods and bents.

He us'd to seek beauty in all its myriad forms.

Reserve for it his bounty, despite the fiercest storms.

As they bloom'd, the Summer winds scorch'd the fair, white lilies,

And the brooks that shimmer'd, gleam'd, dried up in their valleys.

High above amidst the hills, home of joy and love,

Sweet abode of rain and hail, was drown'd a soft, white dove.

As he soar'd, his music drew to him a thousand eyes.

People heard his name afar...fame exacts a price.

He had to take the praises, and well-meaning pats

(Though) he felt bound in traces whenever they said "Congrats."

But he was a growing boy, (he) took it in his stride,

Us'd it all to quench his thirst, and never hurt his pride.

And he spread his petals, open'd to the sun,

Took in all the warmth near where the crystal waters run.

When he grew still older doting on his strings,

(He) look'd into the mirror, saw his pretty wings,

Saw his brilliant feathers amazing to behold,

Heard again their praises, thought his wine was old.

They came to him in thousands driven by an urge

To listen to the fairest, and sing his final dirge.

Men look at the rising Sun (with) admiring, staring eyes,

Knowing it quite soon must set, in their hearts of ice.

Looking at the mountain, majestic and strong,

They breathe a sigh, but know inside, they'll climb it before long.

So, they bow to rivers, venerate the seas,

Write stories about fauna, tout the busy bees.

Thus the horrid day arriv'd, he sought in vain a song.

His flow'ring fields were burnt and dry, he'd stay'd away too long,

Travelling through distant lands, giving folks their fill,

Living on those eager eyes, till all his wine had spilt.

Now he could not face his hands, nor his betray'd strings.

He'd forc'd his skills to stoop and crawl, become another's drinks.

He'd lost his Will, his very heart and soul to others' words,

Liv'd to make them smile and nod, until he'd felt life's swords.

When he couldn't sing or play, when his friends were gone,

When he stood alone one day, distress'd and forlorn,

He knew the world was bad and hard, that it wouldn't stay,

At his side on every road, on every thorny way.

As the weeks turn'd into years, and he learnt and pray'd,

He thought he saw far o'er the clouds, a silver lined shade.

Man grasps at the shadows when all substance fails,

And there he finds the deepest truths, the only holy grails.

He went into his chamber, plied the long, soft strings,

Shut his mind to other thoughts, till he heard the wings

Of his childhood dreams and joys, his innocent loves,

Of the pains and torments, and the soaring doves.

He play'd till he was breathing a very different air,

Despite his fingers' aching, and his tousl'd hair,

It sounded hard and fearful, but every strain was true,

Because no one would listen except the morning dew.

He'd set his mind on hiding every song he wrote.

They'd never more come praising and crowing at his door.

It would be pure like the morning star, it would be pure as the snow,

His name would ne'er be mention'd in some fashionable show.

The chapel

Rising from the shadows

of a dark nation,

On the blood of its children,

A board in black

proclaiming a dedication,

Itself a shadow,

Cloth'd in trees and brush

and memories,

It look'd out again,

Hoping against hope,

They wouldn't forget.

In the brightest corner

of the school,

Beside the road to the fields,

was a little gate

Open in invitation

Round the clock,

With a narrow path,

soft, sandy,

Leading straight to the door,

Waiting to be open'd.

Years pass'd.

A sign of changing times

and changing people.

Truths are written, display'd,


Enriching, happy times,

Ennobling the dust

With pretty tiles and driveways.

Landscap'd gardens,

Slabs of white marble,

Crystal chandeliers,

Expensive enamel.

In the richest corner

of the school,

Beside the road to the ramp,

is a massive gate,

Barr'd in protection

Round the clock,

'fore a wide way,

Til'd, ornate,

Leading 'round an island

To the door,

Double lock'd.

Her Imagination

The woman in red, I remember, moving in the dark,

Her moves grotesque and stark,

Arms white as death, eyes dark,

Dark as a pool in the snow,

Dark as her hair,

Dark as a girl's I know.

With the same white skin and sinews,

The same round breasts and hues,

The same fire and blazing eyes,

Sharp as spice.

The flailing limbs and shuddering frame in red,

Fallen on a misty bed,

Teeth white as pearls, lips red,

Red as the blood in her veins,

Red as her tongue,

Red as the shirt she wears.

Arms reaching out, her fingers,

Twitching and brushing, as they linger

Before my unblinking eyes,

A strange sight.

The men in suits and leathers creeping wary in,

Walking with measur'd tread,

Like lifeless dots, they spread,

Spread into the nothingness,

Spread out of their suits,

Spread around the room,

Like dead dots, clutching

At a sight most bewitching,

The face of the girl in red,

Nearly dead.

All this might sound filthy to the members of the group

That bought the rights to beauty,

To piety and good,

And seek to define all beauty,

Invade the world call'd love,

Defile the girl I know,

The girl twitching in ecstasy,

Leading her art where she would,

Writing her own life's story

As she thinks she should.

The Impending Volcano

They said they were afraid, and they wouldn't try.

They'd live everafter. They didn't want to die.

There was no sense in striving to attain fancy goals,

If that were to require a walk on burning coals.

The power of the mountain and its molten well,

The fire and the thunder (were) but a way to hell.

No more its distant beauty, its fascinating call

Could move or disquiet a bare, unliving wall.

Someone would not listen, hasten'd up the slope,

Play'd around in wonder fill'd with childlike hope,

Remain'd above, awaited, a sickening new dawn,

A new communication, though split and torn.

There was joy in knowing what lay beneath,

In understanding the flaming wreath

That hung o'er your heads, that gripp'd your heart,

That held a fascination of a dangerous sort.

Those people kept on learning with ev'ry day they lost,

No matter how the blizzard sham'd the wither'd frost,

Or the bubbling cauldron, fill'd with many thrills,

Turn'd to pour its vapours high above the hills.

Lonely days and dangers, personal and close,

Secret fights and failures, painful cuts and sores,

All a part of weary life, all their daily woes,

Their only consolation was, it was a life they chose.

They struggl'd on and shoulder'd many burdens brave,

Taught us aught before they died, scatter'd, in no grave.

They had ask'd for much, and had given more,

Paid the price for living, and reach'd the Holy shore.

Others still surrender to the world around,

Bow to its dictation, stay firmly on the ground.

They don't face no danger, they live to be quite old,

And when they die, they die, and take with them their gold.

My Invisible Maiden

How can I see you, Lady in the shadows,

How can I perceive the (obscur'd) truth ?

Yours ain't a face I've seen in the windows,

Yours a heart pure as Ruth's.

Much can be made of the light on the surface,

Much can be said of the moon,

(But) a lot hides beneath the prettiest feature

We cannot uncover so soon.

I yearn to behold the wine in your cellar,

To remove the mask from the moon.

My eyes are my guides become faithless traitors,

I hear in the darkness your tune.

The pearls I behold, the joy of the winter,

Falling around in the spray,

They call it the hail - it just doesn't matter -

It lightens up moments so grey.

I want to know what you think of the winter,

I want to know 'bout your hail.

Do you converse with bottomless rivers,

Do you revel in the rain ?

O how will I know if I'll like you forever,

How will I know what I'll see,

When time has remov'd all the external layers,

When we are both become free.

O tell me a story, show me a poem,

Sing to me songs of your day

In the Sun of your childhood, the morn of your life,

In the home of the flowers so gay.

I must to my love, repair to my hills,

Return to the morning dew cold,

When the faraway tatters of memories spill,

From the skies in the hail as of old.

O show me your fevers, all of your fetters,

That I may know more of you,

That I may remember in evergreen letters,

The innermost spark and hue.

I soon must depart, escape from these skies,

Escape from a hundred lies,

I soon must discover the way to your eyes,

The way to your all, disguis'd.


poems by Corwin Everglade for BVL.