7 Dec 2020 | Poetry

If I have held the world
too tightly in my tactless hands
and hoped to squeeze it
like an orange,
it was because I was
too young to love
or that I loved too rashly.

Yesterday you came
and departed in a hurry,
but you left behind
a few words softly spoken
not in platitudes or clichés
but words toned timeless
in the mind,
floating above the flowing stream
of everyday experiences
words so soft, so everlasting,
that I hovered flapping
my seagull wings
and wondered why
the wind blew so gently.

If I have hoped unwisely,
please forgive me for my hoping
— it was because I loved the world too much,
because I was too selfish in my love.

Like a sculpture I have carved my life,
but never thought
the stone could be so hard.

If I have stumbled on rocks
on the way to the sea,
then I have stumbled
and that is past.

There seems to be no point
in going back
over the gravel
and the stones to gather
the once fragrant flowers.

Written 1963