Lay for the Day 17th
1938: Rudolf Nureyev is born on board the Trans-Siberian Express. The
poem was inspired by seeing film of him dancing with Margot Fonteyn.
Weve come by bad adventure to this bay of peace:
yourself with me.
The weight of bonds
remembrance doesnt cease
as the cuffed hands are free,
and redeemers have proved captors before,
Until the sun and moon exchange
mansions, theres no door
I would not unlock, nor key Id not throw away,
an eyebrow raised
a finger crooked, your heads light sway
you so pleased.
a mortgage my poor will must meet
express desires then?
Be free of me and our freedoms complete.
free to be as other men,
untied from you: restricted by the lack
to my joys, and with no escape
searchings circling track.
A world is in the cell that holds us both; a jail
world where you’re not.
Once I had none –
now hope, newborn frail,
Can I stake my slender means on your well meaning?
odds on love are long.
At last the long-wintered
heart is greening
the birds taking up their song.
But what if ice, returning
shear these shoots
and freeze the slow sap from the roots?
then would revive me?
The earth would never get
round to changing seasons
from as rich a stock of reasons
yarn as yours…
But dropping thaw undoes the frost of friendlessness
fire; eyes melt
away the fear of proffered tenderness.
loved and been betrayed, felt
and met unfeeling, I know that danger
in the trust
of arms, and that when, as we must,
love a stranger,
we put ourselves in the way of the harms that crouch
crooks of twined limbs,
and the moment that two fires touch,
leap out to sever and leave us clutching the dark.
have no spells to fend,
no charm to bend the arrow from its mark
against time. But, send
what assaults it can, till breath is gone, I’ll
breathe, not say,
not kiss goodbye.
to part us; while
we live, let tyrants watch what it means to be brave,
hope won’t bow to chance,
and all our steps towards the grave
This world has never, whatever
its songs may dream,
friendly to lovers.
But the Virgins stars
from the skys extreme
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