Saturday, November 20, 2010

New Poetry by Phillip Ellis

"Dedication (for Clare)"

This is a simple sonnet for you, Clare,
since I have the time to write, and presume
you have the time for reading. I would dare
something spectacular, but that assumes
it is the flash and sizzle that is there
momently, not the lasting taste that grooms
your tongue, that attracts you. I would not dare
speak other than plainly: there is no room.

I have not been brought up to be fancy
or fanciful, but to be honest, plain
and sensitive; that is my nature. When
you hear I had been called nancy
boy, and worse terms, then turn not to disdain:
remember I was still this poet then.


"Polestar (for Clare)"

Time has been passing me with white wine's strength
on a hot summer's day. Such are the ways
of this world: some seasons are cold and wet
or cool and dry, and others are hot, heavy
with sweat, or hot and tinderbox dry. Why,
there are very few seasons which are pure
with beauty, without some sorts of mistakes,
misprisions of climate, such is nature.

But the thought of you can make all my seasons
bearable, the heat, humidity, dryness,
cold and wetness bearable, by some magick,
because, like some fixated, creaking weathervane,
only one direction matters to me,
oh yes, only one direction matters.


"What Truly Never Ends (for Clare)"

I keep wanting to begin these sonnets
with "Time is like..." and so forth. Suddenly
it seems less amusing than wearisome
to me, as if I cannot think about
anything other than this theme, this one
never-ending refrain of story. This
is what it is like for me, echoing
so softly, like cat purrs in hollow rooms.

But what truly never ends for my mind
are the echoes of your name in my room--
the word 'fern' reminds me of your country
for one thing, and ferns are etched in my mind--
and I can't stumble around in my head
without these joyous reminders of you.

- Phillip Ellis 2010

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