home page list of works

SHALL I IN SILENCE?

Shall I in silence like a poem drown
If sorrow's made of sterner stuff ...?
Enough! I'ld cast the tower down
Or, rather, bluff
The stones that mortar rots...
That ingrates wear away their soul...
That wind and water hatch a plot...
To make them fall.

If there's a tide in men's affairs,
One wingèd petrel life I've spent
Intent on weathering stormy years,
But now events
Have ebbed and turned their sights
Back shoreward, where the rocks rise high;
There will I stand and make my fight,
Not openly, disguised.

I have two guesses yet to come.
Two waves to break upon your reef
Of least resistance – cobwebs spun
To catch the thief,
His hand upon the moon's
Reflection. Come away my fate,
As pearls upon the beaches strewn
We'll gatherers await.
(1975)
wind and water
photo: Stephen Alsford

Created: November 17, 2014. © Stephen Alsford