...The story of a girl in London, England


Sonnet 32


You reach across the table for my hand

And trying not to flinch, I leave it limp.

You slide between my fingers, hanging bland—

Discreetly I retrieve it, picking shrimp

Apart upon my empty plate. I hate

To lie to you, so focused, so uncouth.

And yet I hate to tell it to you straight.

I shiver step my way around the truth:

What ever I have felt for you is gone.

It melted with the snow, faded like mist.

It dissipated somewhere, in the throng

Of faces I have never kissed. And this

Is less than fair, but really, who’s to blame?

You’ll feel it soon enough, this cuckold shame.

Sonnet 31: Addiction


The horror of a thousand waking dreams

Caught up within a bloodied, blackened web.

The twisted, broken, slicing, sobbing screams

Resounding, pounding, endless in your head.

The helplessness to grasp reality,

The reaching, clawing, scraping, aching need.

The mindlessness, forgetting how to breathe,

The claustrophobic casement, though you’re free.

You’re free of your own hellish, senseless life,

Released, to find a hellishness within.

A burning, for a moment. Gulping strife

Into a nightmare you could never win.

The promise you will never use again.

The wish that this were true, that it would end.

Sonnet 30


Is it so much to ask, to want to find

A deep, intense connection to a man

Who’s strength of soul is great, his heart, his mind…

A second half, an ever steady hand?

To be so knit together, he and I,

That distance cannot sever, shift, undo

The bond of souls made strong by storm and time.

The understanding gained in “getting through”.

Perhaps this is impossible so young

And speaking soul to soul as angels can

With struggle and with time can only come.

And still, I ache for it with all I am.

The patience I don’t have—it wears me thin.

I long for understanding. To begin.

Sonnet 29


Tonight I was reminded of a day

In London town, about a year ago,

When in Westminster’s abbey walls of grey

The voices of a choir colored stone

And beams with echoes of angelic light.

Enlivened and uplifted by the sound—

Heaven’s fervor in the rafters high—

I closed my eyes, and drifted till I drowned…

Waves of music bearing me aloft.

The voices filling hollows in the stone,

And filling me, with something, bright and soft.

The hollows in my heart I hadn’t known.

The music lingers there, as in a dream,

Among the rafters, drifting through the seams.

Sonnet 28


I cannot write again, that which I’ve writ.

I cannot write of happiness or pain.

I cannot write of love or lack of it.

I cannot write my thoughts—they’re all the same!

I cannot write it down, it’s all been said.

I cannot write a feeling, false or true.

I cannot write, there’s nothing in my head!

I cannot write a color, tint or hue.

Perhaps I simply cannot write at all.

I’ve literally banged against the wall.

And what is writing, really, after all?

The words, the words, they tumble and they fall

About my feet like clots of dirt and loam.

I say good night, good riddance to this poem.

Sonnet 27


The prodigal returned, a day ago,

With meek exhaustion; darkened, hollowed eyes.

His tail between his legs, his head hung low,

He realized his fault, resolved to try.

He bore the scathing anger in your face,

Humiliated, totally reduced,

To something less than dirt, to filth, debased.

He bore it all, the guilt of the accused.

And is this not enough, for you, a God?

This man has been through hell, and back again.

And now you find him begging for a nod,

A sign of grace, or love—yet you refrain.

Can you expect a change, in anger fraught?

This mortal man would be what you are not.


Sonnet 26


The artist knows the world in which he lives

So well because he watches, sits apart.

The resonance; the truth he aptly gives

Description to; the words, which find the heart

And pierce it through with observations frank;

The subtleties; the deft accuracy

Of life as lived, scrawled into pages blank—

All this because, apart, the artist sees.

His eyes detect the world, as through a scope.

The smallest particles, enlarged, disclose

Entire worlds contained, and in them, hope.

The hope we all could see, if we so chose.

For in the common things, we find the truth—

Repeated; found in death and sought in youth.


Sonnet 25


When I was young, I feared the basement’s dark,

The height of diving boards, and tempers cross,

And even, now and then, an angry bark,

But most of all I feared becoming lost.

That sinking feeling one cannot forget,

When in a fit you realize your plight,

That mother’s gone, and you begin to fret,

The world so large and looming in your sight.

But there is peace that comes of being lost

Within the pages of a little book;

Within the lives of others, even crossed

With tribulation—by their friends forsook.

These days, it is the only rest I find.

To lose myself, in someone else’s mind.

Sonnet 24


My fear, I think, is you’ll come home a man.

The boy, I can resist, if he returns.

But should you reappear with strength of hand,

Of mind, of jaw, of heart, of patience learned…

If I should find you changed for better still,

The master of your flaws, a truer friend.

It wouldn’t be a matter of my will—

It wouldn’t matter, really, in the end.

You see, I should be lost, and yours again.

And this is something I cannot ignore,

(As I’ve been known to do with hurt or pain).

I’ve loved you for so long, so much, before.

The one you love the first you love the most.

You can’t forget, you try, and still—you’re toast.

Sonnet 23


If all my lives were ever once to meet—

The now of this, the that-ness of ago—

In some forlorn, forgotten, rainy street,

They wouldn’t know each other, who I’ve known.

The place where once I was, and where I am,

Would stranger to each other be, than men

Who never met, though I must say I can

Admit with truth that I have lived in them.

With time our character, it shifts and grows,

To be what we allow it, and with time

The person that we are could never know

The person who we’ve been—And I don’t mind.

Perhaps the sadder state of things would be

If older selves found not a change in me.

Sonnet 22


I just don’t care to care, because the days

Blend all together so I can’t pretend

To know where one begins—I’d almost say

That there is no beginning, there’s no end

To all the meaningless display; the rush

To run about in madness; once a day

To stop and sleep, and never rest; the crush

Of endless months and years… I beg, I pray

To know, what IS the point? Why do we spend

Our whole lives running, purposeless? And where…

Where is the finish line? Where is the end?

When can I stop this masquerade, and care

About the life I’m never living? Sure-

Ly, surely, there is something? Something more?

Sonnet 21


It’s half past twelve and I’m devoid of thought.

It isn’t that I’m out of sync, or tired.

It isn’t life I’m lacking, that I’ve got.

But there are days when nothing can inspire—

The page remains a blank, imposing space;

Daunting in its incomplete complete-ness.

We stare at one another, face to face,

The artist and the art, in emptiness.

And now it’s nearly one, and here I am.

Sticking letters in the white, and hoping

Maybe it will all just come out right. And

If it does, I’ll owe it to the groping;

The empty space, the silent, empty night—

The canvas conquered. I turn out the light.


Sonnet 20


I’m standing, near the edge, about to fall,

And listening to pitter-pattered rain

Which started coming down, and through it all

I’ve stood here, soaking wet in loss and pain.

I stare across the whipping, raging sea,

Alone. Acutely, tryingly aware

That any moment I will fall, to be

Consumed among the floods awaiting there—

And yet, I stand. For what, I cannot think,

And yet, I wait, and bear the stormy winds.

I wait, I watch, my toes just at the brink,

For clouds to break, for sunny skies to win.

I’m tossing out a line, a bit of rope.

I’ll wait here, at the edge, and I will hope.

Sonnet 19


The irony of everything, my lad,

Is that the time you have you never want,

And when you want it, time cannot be had.

You work, and wait for leisure’s happy jaunt.

But when it comes you waste your leisure’s pay.

Instead of writing everything you can,

You write away the time to lazy days.

A fool I’ve been, and further, fool I am

For pining after what I know I’ll waste.

And yet, I cannot bear the endless cram—

The ever-wending never-ending haste.

But what on earth am I supposed to do?

If you were me, how would you make it through?


Sonnet 18


My love—if then “my love” you truly are—

I cannot help but temper hastiness.

For though I trust intention’s true, alarm

Begins to grip my timid heart, unrest

Un-wits my soul with bitter taste of loves

Which I have suffered times, and lost. The fear;

The simple panic; tightened, children’s gloves

Upon my woman’s hands, constrain me here.

But fear—it is a monster of the mind.

The wall we build to heal ourselves, and keep

From meeting heartache once again. But dark-

Ness past may not a darker future find.

I will, for you, un-paralyze my feet.

I will, for you, un-paralyze my heart.

Sonnet 17


My mind is all a muddle, and my days

Have lost their nights to all my endless wak-

Ing, thinking, mulling over in my frayed

And frazzled brain. I think, I sigh, I pray

For revelation or for sleep, but all

I get is all the echoes, bouncing loud

Inside my head. Oh how I’d like to fall

Asleep, or find some peace, among this crowd

Which is myself and all my thoughts. Instead

I lay here, watching shadows, drift with time

Across the ceiling, waiting here in bed.

Exhausted, but unable to unwind.

Perhaps, to write will lead to dreams, and then

To sleep. Perhaps I'll lull me with this pen.


Sonnet 16


There comes a point round sunset when the clouds

So grey and wet, are cheated out of dark-

Ness by the yellow light. Despite the shroud

Which hangs above the roof, there is a stark,

Startling moment when the trees go up in

Flame. Bright against the murky shadow I

Can see from where I sit, the world’s a din

With color, all despite the rainy sky.

Perhaps that is the way with us as well

Who dwell below. We sparkle for a mo-

Ment, streaking effervescent light. We tell

A short, a shining story, then must go

Into the night. Somehow, I’ll try to light

The sky, before I’ve finished up the fight.


Sonnet 15


Obsessed. It never crossed my mind—that’s how

Obsession goes. You do it, do it, and

It seems so natural to you. Allowed

To fester, fostered there—that grain of sand,

So simple, lodged within your shoe, you start

To scratch and scrape and kick and shake, (to no

Avail, it’s true), and yet it plagues you. Mark,

That soon enough a shaking habit shows

To all the rest—and never once to you.

Eventually the rock is gone, and yet

The tick remains. It’s got out of your shoe

Somehow, and in your mind it stays. You fret

Until you learn how to forget instead.

Till someone sees it there, inside your head.




There are times when all at once,

you see the flaw.

The wave that only hinted

up and down

Becomes a crashing rush of

whitish foam.

And all at once, you see, you sigh,

you know.

The bleeding wound you’d chosen

to ignore

Is soaked in salty wetness

at the shore

Of life—this vast existence—

and it stings.

And all at once, you recognize

the gore.

The many rips and tears you gained

with time;

With walking, as a youth, the

sands sublime.

Distracting you from noticing

your needs;

Your thirst, your hunger, and your

soul that bleeds.

But what is there to save

a bleeding soul?

Where is the balm, amidst this

empty beach?

All at once, you see, you sigh,

you know

That ignorance was better.

Yet, you reach.

Sonnet 14


I sit ensconced with books and yellow light

That pours a glow upon my messy desk.

And staring to the left, but void of sight,

My eyebrows pinch together, not to rest

Until the thing has been thought out—as is

My nature when I think too much. A lett-

Er on the page begins to move. And this

Is quite uncommon, so I look a litt

Le closer, and I see it is an ant.

He crawls about between the A’s and T’s.

I try my best to see his world, and can’t.

We both are living strange realities.

The books he climbs upon are scenery—

But in my world, these books, they create me.

Sonnet 13


And then again, can there be love without

Romance? For all my rationality,

Relationships seem fraudulent, cut out

Of pretty paper, pieced so perfectly

Together, like a puppets play. But life

Is more than this, all tied up in a bow.

It is a checkered mess. Perhaps the strife,

The lovers’ sad laments, just go to show

The lover’s joys in sharp relief. For when

The crushing rush of passion fuels the soul,

And hearts keep time beneath the skin, well then

You love. Not well thought out, or in control.

I’d rather have a broken heart, than say

I love when intellect has all the sway.

Sonnet 12


Well, that was unexpected. Yet, I can’t

But think it was enjoyable. Despite

Surprising, awkward, haste, and oddish slant

With which your head leaned into mine, I’d like

To think that most first kisses often come

About as oddly. Or at least, as poor-

Ly planned. It takes some guts to kiss and run.

And honestly the honesty that door-

Step scene portrayed was better than the charm,

Allure, which other men have made for me.

Yes, more than one of those has caused me harm.

And fumbling kisses are the dearer, see:

A boy whose nerves show forth so frankly can

Be trusted more than a seducing man.

Sonnet 11


The lethargy that lulls me, in and out

Of days of half awakened sleep; which slumps

And frowns about in tiredness, in doubt

Of purpose, need, direction, till I crump-

Le on the couch in such a mass, content

In discontentment, restless rest, and waits

For heavy, sluggish nature to repent,

Unable to procure or to create

A mood worth getting up for. What a waste

Of will and wit it is, to sit so Mel-

Ancholy, so very bored. But even tastes

Which once were sweet are dull even to smell.

And what’s the reason for this loss of will?

Either it’s love, or else I am quite ill.

Sonnet 10


Despite the whitish gray above the trees,

That lingers like the last of winter’s clutch.

Despite the oft deceiving, chilly breeze

Which tries to bite your neck, but cannot, much.

Despite the silent stillness of the peaks,

Which tower high above us, brilliant white.

Despite the brittle browning blades, bespeak-

Ing death, after an unrelenting fight.

I know it’s spring. Because the breath I take

Fills up my lungs with clean and simple air.

The kind that washes soul and hands and feet.

The bitter winter months know this, their fate,

Is now to fade and vanish, with my cares,

And leave the sound of birdsong, echoes sweet.

Sonnet 9


I’ve tried, you know I have, to choke it. But

He’s like an illness void of cure—something

That’s got into my blood; he can’t be shut

Away, or out, once he’s got in. A string

Of options have been tried, to no avail—

I’ve tarried time, I’ve broken ties, (and more

Than once), I’ve made myself so sick and pale

With thinking, clinging to the thoughts of poor

Conduct and my misuse. But it’s no use!

I am a silly, stupid, slave who loves

To be mistreated, shamed, and quite abused.

It can’t be helped, when push then comes to shove.

I love that man—I know it isn’t just.

Or else, perhaps, I’m simply slave to lust.

Sonnet 8


I’d like to write about the way you moved

In synchrony, as though it were a dance—

She took a step, and so he took one, too,

As if he were afraid there was a chance

That if she got too far away to touch

She’d disappear forever—but the soft

Unspoken ties that bind you two, so much

A mystery to one not born aloft

In love’s miraculous embrace, cannot

But be so guessed at now. I cannot know,

But wonder how it happens. How? This knot,

This mystery, which pulls you closely so.

I stand amidst the lights and stay my eyes:

A couple dancing, fastened, man and wife.

Sonnet 7


The freshly laundered smell that’s in my shirt

Reminds me of the home I’ve left to dreams;

The childhood which tastes of love and dirt,

And summer sunshine, grimy girlish gleam.

I’ve left it there, a hallowed sacred place,

Within the part of me that no-one sees.

And all the years and aches cannot erase

The happiness; my youth, so light with ease.

I want to dance and splash in all this rain.

Instead I keep on walking—late for work

You know, and there’s no stopping. What a shame.

These early showers heal the deepest hurt.

But years, it seems, add chains to what we might

Have done with freedom’s step, our love of life.

Sonnet 6


Your Minnesotan accent makes me laugh.

As do your stories, antics, clever thoughts.

And you’re as smart as Plato, though abashed

When ever in your talents you are caught.

Of entertainment there is ne’er an end

With you as my companion, what a lark!

You have become a dear, respected friend.

And what is more you’re handsome, tall, and dark…

But all your virtues might but be for naught,

If not for the best virtue that you’ve got.

That is your kindness; sweet and gentle heart;

Your love of man; your true chivalrous part.

This is the mark—genuine gentility—

That makes you all the dearer, dear, to me.

Sonnet 5


I walked with resolution in my gait,

With confidence that comes of buried fear.

But barring true emotion tempteth fate

And as deserved, I quivered quick to hear

My name in so familiar a voice;

To see the face forgotten deep inside;

To be confronted there, without a choice;

To look into those soft, be-freckled eyes.

We talked about the weather, and the food.

So meaningless and momentary, then.

But as I turned, my mind came all unglued.

I, foolish, fickle, found that in the end:

Remembrance still remains—though you are gone—

That we were lovers once, and now are none.

Sonnet 4


My friend, you vacillate from dark to light,

Till I cannot be sure whose friend you are.

At first you shake the hand, then pick a fight.

And all about you friendships fall like stars

That twinkled but a moment in your hand

Which you did love so gently, plucked and pressed

So softly to your heart—and then did stand

And toss those lights you did embrace. The less

You shine, for all the loves you’ve lost. In fits

Of darkness, tantrums born of fickle state,

I cannot know you—once so brightly lit.

Dear ones that loved you now are turned to hate.

My friend, I’d love you still if you could be

Consistent as the sun—but you’re not he.

Sonnet 3


The smell of cinnamon bombards my nose:

So sweet and sticky soft it bakes and browns

Below me in the oven. And it snows

Outside, a blanket on this quiet town.

The silence looms before me like a curse.

What ought to make me feel so much at home—

The quaint, perfected, cheerful winter hearse—

Is slowly dragging me into a tomb;

Buried underneath the little cares,

Which multiplying turn into a drift

Of heavy, unrelenting snow I share

With all my race, but cannot bear to lift.

And out the window snow is falling still,

And I am buried, as my window sill.

Sonnet 2


They come and go like pocket change for me;

Familiar in the shape, but none unique.

For, I have many pennies, nickels, seen—

But none that I’d remember, none I’d think

To recognize or set apart as best.

Nothing uncommon, truly superb;

A penny, afterall, is like the rest.

My life remains so very unperturbed

By fantasies of love and grand romance,

Which little girls are taught to dream oft of.

But little girl, you never get the chance

To find in life a meaning--more than “love”.

We hammer in the nonsense all her life,

Expecting her to live and die, a wife.

Sonnet 1


I guess it is the remnant of past love—

This tingling sweet sensation in my gut,

The sickening, the nauseating shove

Which wrenches heart and stomach into one.

I guess it is remembrance only now

Which speeds the pulse, excites my silly self,

When unexpectedly I am allowed

To see him, real—who’s pictured on my shelf.

I guess it is the echo of a dream,

So long forgotten, buried deep inside

A memory which often lacking seems—

Or maybe that is just my stubborn pride.

For when I see those handsome, freckled lids,

I take a breath, and wish that I were his.

The 365 Day Challenge

In my Early British Literary History class this semester we are encouraged to do what Dr. Burton class "Self Directed Learning". It has sparked cooking projects based on recipes from the Middle Ages, interest in architecture, jewelry, embroidery, and rather impressive attempts at caligraphy. I even carved a wood-cut piece inspired by illuminated manuscripts--exploring the simplest of household objects in order to get the best print.

And as part of my own learning, I have decided to take on what Dr. Burton calls "The 365 Day Challenge". The task? Write a sonnet every day for an entire year. The purpose? Well I guess that depends on the person. For me, it is an opportunity to understand and work within a form that does not come as easily to me as others. I think in 8 or 12 beat lines. Never 10. And the compactness of the sonnet aggravates my tendency towards long winded-ness. The hope is that, by next February I will have mastered this long used and well proved literary tradition. And that I have a lot of fun in the process! Wish me luck!