By Anita Samandra
when you see the smile from someone feeling the same.
or the warmth in your chest from the mention of a name.
your first thought in the beginning of a day,
and the last thing you feel when you're hitting the hay.
when every moment you're waiting you seem to ache,
so afraid that from this dream you'll wake.
the feeling so strong time seize to exist
Yet even those moments blow away like mist.
filling you up 'till you feel so strong,
yet so small that you feel you'll do everything wrong
when the smallest thing can send you into a rut,
yet the same thing will pull you back up.
when you warm up by the mention of a name
knowing by their smile that they feel the same.
ashes of June ...
your eye are delighted for me firing my soul draining my mind....
when i see you....
my thoughts get drained....
my tears are gone ....
my heart stops .
i know i wont be able to be with u any more
loving you is the only thing i can do for you .....
ashes of the June
my heart is beating for you
from deep inside...
i collapse ....
i my self got a sin of being a boy ...
god??? if u exist then answer me why ain't i a person that i want to be?:((
THERE WOULD BE JUST ONE GENDER .
I lOVE yOU like now i'm dead man ...
By AC Benus
Poetry Prompt 6 – Elegy
Let's Write a Tennyson-style Elegy!
We have studied how verse form relates to certain patterns, like line length, using end-of-line rhymes for emphasis and memorability, and stanza patterns like the Tanka, Haiku, and Couplet.
We can build on that by practicing with the four-line structure of the Elegy, which is like a pair of couplets split up to be a-b-b-a in its rhymes.
The Elegy belongs to a group of lyric poetry including the Pastoral and the Eclogue. This form is ancient, and city-bound Hellenistic Greeks used to dream of getting back to nature through such popular pieces. While the other two forms promoted bucolic bliss, the Elegy spoke of loss – more often than not, of one handsome shepherd being taken by someone rich and powerful to 'the city,' and his equally handsome and lonely shepherd mate having to deal with the separation. In this sense Shakespeare's poem Venus and Adonis is an Elegy, as the goddess has to suffer the rather comic rebuff of the beautiful boy before ultimately losing him altogether.
With this, he breaketh from the sweet embrace
Of those fair arms which bound him to her breast,
And homeward through the dark laund runs apace;
Leaves Love upon her back deeply distrest.
Look, how a bright star shooteth from the sky,
So glides he in night from Venus' eye.
Later, continuing to run from the goddesses' lust-driven pursuit, the beautiful teen boy is gored and killed by a boar. So in this we come to how the Elegy has been most often used in English: a lament for a departed loved one. Even though it is usually thought of as a death song, good Elegies still retain the element of nature as a sub-theme.
For our purposes of studying how to write one, I will stick with examples from arguably one the greatest same-sex love poems ever written (and one sadly few bother to read today); Tenneyson's In Memoriam contains the lines:
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
And the man he loved, Arthur Hallam, must have been a remarkable soul, for the expanse of In Memoriam is as passionate and sweeping as its near contemporary poem, The Leaves of Grass. Tennyson deals with his loss by questioning everything – Christian hypocrisy against same-sex love, faith versus reason, love being stronger than doubt and hate, even Creationism versus Evolution. And ever in the background is nature and how it brings the poet back to the presence of his beloved. Take for example these strophes from 95:
By night we lingered on the lawn,
For underfoot the herb was dry;
And genial warmth; and o'er the sky
The silvery haze of summer drawn;
And calm that let the tapers burn
Unwavering: not a cricket chirped:
The brook alone far-off was heard,
And on the board a fluttering urn:
But when those others, one by one,
Withdrew themselves from me and night,
And in the house light after light
Went out, and I was all alone,
Then strangely on the silence broke
The silent-speaking words, and strange
Was love's dumb cry defying change
To test his worth; and strangely spoke.
So word by word, and line by line,
The dead man touched from the past,
And all at once it seemed at last
His living soul was flashed on mine,
And mine in his was wound and whirled
About empyreal heights of thought,
And came on that which is, and caught
The deep pulsations of the world.
So, sucked from out the distant gloom
A breeze began to tremble o'er
The large leaves of the sycamore,
And fluctuate all the still perfume.
Here we can see what I mean when I say the rhyme pattern is like a pair of Couplets split up, and note that Tennyson chose to stick with a lyrical 8-syllable line length throughout. There is a grandeur to these lines, but I chose to show them first for how beautifully he weaves in the presence of both nature and the memory of the departed. But that does not always have to so blatant. Easier to follow are the four stanzas of 73:
So many worlds, so much to do,
So little done, such things to be,
How know I what had need of thee,
For thou wert strong as thou wert true?
The fame is quenched that I foresaw,
The head hath missed an earthly wreath:
I curse not nature, no, nor death;
For nothing is that errs from law.
We pass; the path that each man trod
Is dim, or will be dim, with weeds:
What frame is left for human deeds
In endless age? It rests with God.
O hollow wraith of drying fame,
Fade wholly, while the soul exults,
And self-infolds the large results
Of force that would have forged a name.
So here, I hope you noticed right away, Tennyson used the exact form and line pattern, but achieved something markedly different from 95. His anxiety almost beats with a heartbeat as we read his words, and 'nature' becomes thought of human nature and of how natural it is for two people to love one another.
The prompt: write your own set of four-lined Elegy stanzas. The theme is 'Remember,' and I encourage all of you to submit your work to Irri for the spring anthology. Keep the rhyme pattern a-b-b-a, use as many stanzas as you like, but maintain a consistent 8-syllable line. Play with it; your poem does not have to be about death or loss, just remembrance.
 The two young shepherds who were household names in ancient and Renaissance times were Corydon and Alexis. They were as well known a couple as Romeo and Juliet is to us and the story of how their pure love and passionate devotion to one another was tested by the glitz and fakeness of hypocrisy was written about time and time again. Marlowe's famous lines of "Come live with me and be my love, and we will all the pleasures prove" is Corydon speaking to Alexis. (See Chapter 3 of Bruce R. Smith's 1991 literary survey of same-sex love in Shakespeare's England)
 Laund = a grassy meadow
 The 'his' of this line and the line above are the originals. Tennyson's son later systematically went through the poem and edited parts he felt were too 'gay.' Thus in this line he craftily added a 't' to make a nonsensical 'this': "And mine in this was wound". Unfortunately this was one of his favorite ways to deface the manuscript. Sometimes, as in the case of "His living soul was flashed on mine," he was forced to cross out his father's words and simply write something obscuring above it; here he altered it to read: "The living soul was flashed on mine," which again makes no sense to a reader. (See In Memoriam, edited by Robert H. Ross, 1973 New York)
Walt Whitman's editor for the Leaves of Grass insisted he add qualifiers like "him and her," and "he and she" in his erotic poetry where he only wrote "him" and "he." Later on his dutiful students defaced his manuscripts after the master's death to reflect the edited print versions of the poem. (See Love Stories, by Jonathan Ned Katz, 2001 Chicago)
Emily Dickinson likewise had her manuscripts rather brutally altered by her editor and niece, Martha Dickinson Bianchi. As Keith Stern writes: "Though we know little about Dickinson's sexual life, we can be certain about the passions of her sexual orientation. In 1852 she wrote a love letter to her friend Susan Gilbert that read in part, 'Susie, forgive me darling, for every word I say – my heart is full of you, none other than you in my thoughts.' Her love for Gilbert inspired many of her poems. In addition to altering Dickinson's rhymes and punctuation, early editors replaced Gilbert's name in many of the love poems that were written to her. Scissors and erasers were taken both to poems and correspondence, turning 'her' to 'him,' and erasing the 's' in front of 'she.'" (ps. 139-140, Queers in History, 2009 Dallas)
It is a shame that LGBTQ youth are still systematically kept from knowing the extent of Gay arts and letters that exists all around them. Editing Gay people out of their own history should end.
From Changes, Again - Chapter 1 The Party. This is the first story i've written where i've brought back characters. It was from something @droughtquake mentioned at the end of Changes. I thank him for it made me think and i decided there was a story there. Posting will begin mid-January. I hope you enjoy...
Rena and Robert arrived first. Never ones to arrive empty handed, they brought a glorious bunch of tulips—in purple, soft violet and white—and nice ready-chilled wine. We settled in the living room with a glass of the sweet white.
I was feeling good and just wanted to drink enough to feel happy and mellow. We had sipped our way through our first glasses, when Robert spoke up.
"Um, hope you don't mind but I really need a word with Don. I'd like to before we get too happy and before dinner. I can smell those potatoes, Louis."
I looked at Don who replied with a tight-lipped smile. Okay, so you're saying nothing. Rena wasn't giving up anything either.
"Sure, you two go over to the office and I'll set the table and stuff, but when Harry and Gareth arrive, I'll send them to fetch you."
"Don't mind them, Louis. I'll help you." Rena got up and put her arm through mine. I smiled at her. We picked up empty wine glasses and followed Robert and Don.
Don rolled forward toward the kitchen. The door there was closest to his office. "We'll likely be back before then. Don't worry, babe. We'll have a good time tonight."
Not wanting to ruin the mood, I bent and kissed him. "You two go. It's fine, Donny."
Robert patted my shoulder and then grabbed the handles on Don's chair. "Don's right. We won't be long."
After the door closed, I turned to Rena. "Do you know what's going on?"
"I don't. Frankly, Robert's been quiet this afternoon. I asked if everything was okay, and he said it was. Just that he needed to get something important at work resolved, sooner rather than later."
I pulled a deep violet and white checked tablecloth out of the bottom drawer in the kitchen island, and put it on the table. Atop that, I put Rena and Robert's flowers; it felt like spring.
As we adjusted the cloth and laid out the tableware, Rena asked, "How is the birthday trip plan going?"
"Pretty good. I was thinking Sonoma County in California, it's supposed to be wheelchair friendly. Lots of things to do, including tasting lots of wine, and lots of sunshine."
"That sounds lovely, but you know Don will go wherever you want to go."
"I know, but I wanted us both to relax, and being wheelchair friendly just took away one worry."
"Well, if you want to go to Sonoma County, you do that." Rena smoothed a corner of the tablecloth. "The table is beautiful."
I checked the potatoes, which were nearly done. I'd just turned down the oven when the doorbell rang. I smiled at Rena and walked to the front door.
Gareth and Harry stood there together, grinning like schoolboys. Harry was in his early fifties now, but still as gorgeous and sexy as he always had been. Gareth was my age, cute in a young Jeffrey Dean Morgan sort of way; always with a warm smile. Each of them carried a bottle of wine.
"Come on in. It's good to see you guys."
Gareth hugged me first. "You look great, Louis! Where is that sexy man of yours?"
"Out in the office with Robert. They'll be back shortly."
Harry was next. He released me after a warm hug and said, "You want me to go and get them?"
"No … you two come in. I'll go out there," Rena said, as she joined us, greeting Harry and Gareth with a hug. "I'll run out there now." She returned to the kitchen and went out the back door.
Harry took Gareth's bottle and handed both to me, the Cabernet Sauvignon was a magnum. "As usual, we couldn't choose between red or white, so we brought both!"
"Thank you. I'll put them in the kitchen. Do you want a drink?" I said over my shoulder as I walked.
"Harry, sit down, I'll help Louis." After giving his husband a peck and a pat, Gareth joined me. He picked up the corkscrew and started to open the red. "This is Harry's favourite."
I poured a glass of white for Rena, one for myself, and for Gareth. "It's a generous gift, thanks. Will you pour one for Robert and Don as well please?"
"Sure." Gareth did as asked. "How are you Louis? Seems like forever since we've seen you two."
"We're good, thanks. You both look like you are as well."
Gareth picked up the glass of white I'd passed him. "We are. Harry and I are just back from New York. He was there for a publisher's conference. I was able to get time off to go with him."
"Hey! I'm lonely out here!" Harry called from the living room. "And worse, I'm thirsty."
Gareth and I laughed. "You take your man his wine, and I'll pop the hors d'oeuvres in the oven to heat up."
"Thanks." Gareth picked up his husband's wine and glanced out the window. "It appears yours is on his way in too. See you in the living room."
I glanced out. "Finally. Then we can get this party started!" I put the tray of small pastries in the oven to heat.
Though I was curious as to what was going on, I just wanted to enjoy our get-together, so I shoved my questions to the back of my mind. It could be nothing, but frankly it felt like a huge secret.
The backdoor opened and the three of them came into the kitchen. I handed Rena and Robert glasses of wine, and they continued on through to the living room.
Don smiled. "I'll go out in a bit and start the barbeque. Something smells good. Do you need my help in here?"
"There's a glass of wine there for you. I'll bring it. Can you carry these plates and napkins?"
"Sure, Lous." He took the small plates and napkins and put them on his knees, and rolled out to the living room.
I followed with our wine. Don had put the napkins and plates on the coffee table. "Here's your wine, Don. Harry brought that excellent Cabernet you like."
Don sipped. "Mmmm, yeah this is nice. Thanks, Harry. Thanks for coming everyone! Now, if you don't mind I have a quick speech to make."
We all groaned; Donny's speeches were rarely short.
He eyed each of us. "No groaning. I can smell food, so that means I have to hurry. Now, as you know it is my beautiful husband's birthday in a few weeks. As we'll be away, I thought we could wish him an early Happy Birthday today."
I wasn't prepared for this and nearly slid off my perch on the arm of our sofa. Five faces turned to me, each of them smiling. Then a chorus of Happy Birthday rang out.
Once they’d finished, we were all laughing, and I appealed for quiet. "You guys … wow, thank you so much. I appreciate it. Now, I better get those canapes out or they will be burnt!"
Practically running into the kitchen to escape, I leaned on the counter to breathe. Relief coursed through me. They'd just been planning this little celebration of my birthday. Worrying over nothing again, Louis.
By AC Benus
Hi and Welcome! This is an open thread, intended for poets to help one another on GA. It's not tied to any one piece, but a forum where we can exchange ideas, get feedback on a project we're intending to post, or one that's already up.
Questions and advice are always welcomed, so don't be shy about stopping by now and again to say 'hey.'