Dark Angels’ Note 40
Welcome back to our writerly thoughts to distract, inspire and reassure you. Be well, keep reading, keep writing and know that we’re always here..
To honour this month’s love-filled celebrations, we read Pablo Neruda’s yearnful poem Here I Love You at our Tuesday night gathering.
Read Mary O’Donnel’s poem below. Use your memory or imagination to write a poem about two people who find their way back to each other after years of separation.
The Men I Once Knew
The men I once knew offered gifts,
like male penguins offering stones to a female
in the competition for courtship.
One offered a bag of lemons, bright and shiny,
still warm from the Mediterranean garden
where he plucked them. Another took me
on a boat. It had no life-jackets. We sailed
dangerously and I was sea-sick for days.
It’s no problem, he said, just watch the horizon.
The third kept painting me, Botticelli’s Venus,
he murmured, digging his brush
to the canvas, failing each time to find the line
that would match the line of my thigh.
Lemons. Life-jacket. My thigh.
We failed calamitously, we failed gloriously
too, and even now on any day,
I can’t say I ever felt ruined
by their attentions.
It was how we passed the time,
Don’t smile. I am too far from shore.
The lights of my life are but a flicker on the horizon.
Like sea spray upon my face, half-blinding,
Half-wakening me to more vibrant energies:
The pitch and the toss,
Balance and reason lost overboard,
Nothing left but the senses; the sense
Of being deeply, profoundly alive.
Don’t smile. I cannot see
An iridescent moon rise and shine upon your brow,
Each contour carved with sweetness,
Nor the tide of your eyes flood with waves
Of compassion, intelligence, invitation,
Without my treacherous spirit –
With its submerged memories of another life –
Yearning to be locked once again
Into the curve of your arms,
The incandescent grace of your heart.
Don’t smile. For the slightest
Upswerve of your lips
Falls like a thunderclap upon years of quiet content,
Jolting into being a storm of emotions, that batters
And shatters everything that I hold dear,
Whirling their fragments into a non-existing past,
While your ruthless presence strikes magnetic bolts
Into my responsive, irresponsible soul.
Don’t smile. Let me turn against your tide
And make for prudent harbour,
Each confused thump of the waves sinking in my gut,
Breath pouring out to the limit of the lungs
‘Til I gasp with the pull of the pain.
Conceal yourself instead in my depths, and drift
Among myriads of other fantastical mysteries
Whose wonders I shall never know in this life,
Lest I dive too deep, and drown.
One day I will return, and weep
For your forgiveness
In casting aside our chance to experience
The embodiment of eternal love,
To tender responsibilities and simple pleasures;
The soft seclusion of her calm, committed shores.
A fiery supernova roars across the sky behind me,
Shaking the infinite atoms of existence,
And I close my eyes as my heart explodes.
I asked you not to smile.
Join us via Zoom for an hour of writing and talking with other Dark Angels. We meet at 7pm UK time every Tuesday. Click here on the night. There’s no need to register in advance and we’ll be using the same link every week from now on. There’s no charge. And feel free to bring a friend along.
Throughout April, Jamie Jauncey and Richard Pelletier will again be running an online adaptation of our legendary Advanced Course. Now’s the time to book! Expect a guided journey into language and storytelling with live online sessions. There’ll be fast-paced writing exercises, time spent on your own personal pieces, and spot visits by guest tutors from the Dark Angels family. Details here.
And don’t forget about our two online Starter Days on March 3rd and June 9th. Even if you’ve been before, these are playful, warm and lively ways to refresh your creative energy and sharpen your skills. Find out more here.
Dark Angels is now on Instagram. We’ll be sharing writerly whatnots, creative prompts and event updates. Hugs for following.
From everyone at Dark Angels
Also published on Medium.