19 October 2008

beside the limestone road

an old marl-hole where rat-bats congregate
bears quiet witness to each hidden sin
not just to what we could not dare to win
by dint of effort and so blame on fate
this is no church for you to desecrate
but a dark place where many lives begin
and those who know will just conceal a grin
for nouns not verbs would seem to conjugate
that was the story when the night turned cold
under a sky as dark as any soul
when all the blame was placed on certain wiles
but others said the cause was merely gold
unwisdom aiming at a pretty goal
that journey will not end for many miles


clarabella said...

what a great first line! This needs to go on, don't you think? Another verse or two? Too many things still titillating...

FSJL said...

Thanks, Pam. I think that it says all I want it to say for now. The form, after all, constrains the story to be brief and allusive -- more in the readers' heads than on the page. When I start, I'm sometimes not sure what form the poem is going to take; in this case, the words shaped themselves naturally into a sonnet out of the memory of something said to me nearly forty years ago, reinforced by the memory of going into another quarry and disturbing the sleep of the fruit-bats inside.