Poetry Showcase: Victoria Leigh Bennett

photo from pixabay

                             Hymn for Committed Lovers 
                                             (A Pantoume)

Though love is ever constant in the universe, Yet changes it its dwelling place on rapid feet,
Some go from good to bad, others from bad to worse,
While some are lucky, seem to keep it for their lives complete.

But even then, its dwelling place on rapid feet
It may attenuate its steps towards and slow down;
While some are lucky, seem to keep it for their lives complete They may still work their way to it with solemn frown.

To some, it may attenuate its steps, slow down,
And they reproach the fates, the stars, their mates, fell chance; They may still work their way to it with solemn frown Because no longer does it spell to them “romance.”

And they reproach the fates, the stars, their mates, fell chance, Unwitting that, they having it, avoid a curse
Though it may be it does no longer spell “romance,” For they have some part of the constant universe.
                                        The Aubade in Question

--For I have been told, that I am to write 
Not of lover’s quarrels,
Not of day, not of night,
But that there is call to mention sole and alone 
That time of day, the dawn, when take affright 
The caress, the turnings-away, the gentle moan, 
And all things else pertaining to the play
Of human love, and to deal only with the passing
Of time at its most transitory, in the daylight’s first moments 
That there is my locus, thought for topic. I am lost.

--For, lovers two there must be, perhaps love-crossed, 
The one indignant, the one harassing
The time with reproaches for leaving,
The two breasts alike, whether with sorrow or passion 
Both in the other finding their fashion, in weeping,
In heaving, one sadly to stay, one forthwith conforming, 
Tears falling, the saddest thing yet, one to one calling, 
The poem the cry, the stating of all
Reasons, and why and why not, quick or slow.

Yet I must say, I don’t know what aubade may arise 
In only one set of eyes, when no other is there— 
Do I cry at the dawn for a lover long gone?
Lament for the bubble of sun, the clouds both vibrant and wan,
Or do I count the matter done, write old tales of imagined god or faun, 
No, that’s too antique! Yet, the other, how bleak
To write to no one.  

                            The Love of Sparrows and Eirons
                                    (A Sestina)

I saw you once, and touched your hand, oh, sparrows! 
The very birds of Venus, and her sunglow
Were round about my thoughts of you, all joyous, 
Your eyes of burnished brown, embers of burning 
The curls of your jet hair, did fuel quick heartache; 
For you, e’en then, were set to be an eiron.

A jest or two I well enjoyed, my eiron,
For we then twittered forth like two fat sparrows, 
There was no pending notion of sad heartache:
I watched your slender shoulders, rapt in sunglow, 
And met your laughing eyes, bright in their burning. 
Our ev’ry meeting to my mind was joyous.

Then, all remark we made was special, joyous, 
For we took turns in role-playing the eiron,
If hell had come, we’d go into the burning 
Together, and in spite of gods and sparrows. 
But Venus did not force us from the sunglow, 
Or out of happiness into a heartache.

I somehow knew there waited yet a heartache, 
But made the most of time, remained still joyous; 
Determined to insist we stick to sunglow,
While neither should diverge wholly to eiron.
Yet, there were times when I felt mocked by sparrows, 
And fated, lone, to face out all gloom’s burning.

Then, I was desperate, your anger burning 
When I persisted, tried to stay the heartache, 
And then in warning tweeted frantic sparrows, 
Oh, nature sensible, that had spoke joyous!
While now descended shadows, and my eiron
Did change, find his lone way into the sunglow.

And when I walked, alone, into the sunglow, 
Deprived of embered curls, of brown orbs’ burning,
Then, in a spite ‘gainst love, I became eiron, 
Refused to countenance burdens of heartache, 
Played out to one and all: “My laugh is joyous!”
And fooled? What human knows? But not the sparrows.

Now, years have passed, the sunglow and the heartache 
Are melded, I am burning, I am joyous,
And more than I: the eirons, truthful sparrows. 

Fall Day, Spring Day

Why not say that it was an ordinary, transitional fall day, complete with warm weather, though not hot, and not yet in the melancholy train of days that leads to those kinds of thoughts? No, it was a day when the sky was not blue and sunny, but a mixed-up swath of puffy white and gray clouds, not rain clouds either, but just indeterminate, big things to look at. It wasn’t the sort of day people think of when they say, in just that tone, “autumn,” their minds on roasted apples, and pumpkins, and spectacular multicolored scenery, and comforting, real or machine- knitted sweaters (as puffy and fat as the clouds looked in the heavens). It wasn’t the time of Halloween yet, even further from Thanksgiving, and at least two months in some places in the temperate zone from the first frost, in others from the first snowfall. It’s necessary to be as definite as possible in defining such an indefinite day, to pin it down, to make it responsible for its shortcomings as a day for drama.

In short, the autumn day was noncommittal, in keeping with its intention and duty, for that matter, to spring a totally unpleasant course of events on the world in the shape of its fall into winter. Not unexpected by those who’d been this way before, but for the young of the world, unprecedented.

The spring day, by contrast, was making all sorts of promises. It was breezy, a little too much so in its neophyte enthusiasm, for it too was new as of the turn of the year, and was not of the subtle days which know how to moderate their influences and appearances. It smiled, and then frowned, then smiled again, much like the new life it was, caught up in its own adolescent drama of how it was being received, or not, and not yet up to full strength but wanting to give more. As it went on, it became more conscious of its blemishes, was embarrassed about them, so shed what it imagined was a private little weep in a corner of the park, where its tears were unexpected to the new leaves and twigs it was trying to foster, not entirely welcome there, either, as the day’s little mourn was unexpected and a bit brusque, too short-lived to be effective as nourishment, teasing unintentionally.

Winter and summer, watching indulgently and yet critically at the same time, both tried to take a hand, but as they had separated very nearly at the beginning due to irreconcilable differences, could not agree about the correct procedure together. First winter said, “C’mon, really get your griefs out of your system, go ahead and blow and fret and shower to your heart’s content. Who can stop you? You’re my child, after all.” But then summer spoke up, saying, “No, my heart, some of those who rely on us for their food, drink, and a joyous atmosphere have messed things up, and it behooves us to tolerate each other more, share in the distribution of ourselves a little more. Here, I’ll show you how to really put on a shine that warms up things fast and hot and hard. Keep that old bastard winter guessing.”

Finally, though, the fall day stole the spring day away to a part of the scene where they could have a little conference. “Look,” it said, “You and I are both somethings on the way to somewhere else, namely to those two extreme idiots who can’t get along and who each must occupy their own realm. Surely even in the short time you’ve been around, you’ve noticed that that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Yet here we all four are, getting ahead of ourselves, behind ourselves, due to the interference in our patterns by the actions of that misery of a creation, humanity. Let’s you and I try to remember who we are, the most alike two of the four of us. Sure, show your heritage now and then to make summer and winter proud, put on at one point that old chilly day when no one expects it, or that burst of sunlight across the bodies of water, that gifts the world with warmth and time to enjoy itself. But never forget, we are caught between them, have to appease them both. Yes, we are the two seasons where there’s some hope that humanity may reflect and take stock and moderate itself. Summer is so popular with some that they only care about having more sun and don’t see that it’s undue excess of a good thing. And winter’s bite, which is also a necessary thing, its overwhelming and unprecedented new snowfalls and freezes and mayhem, are a reaction to summer’s overreaching and interference at other untoward times. It seems that humans, some others of them, like that excess as well. Let’s you and I just be ourselves, states of change, presages, harbingers. As tactful as possible, but warning of, pointing to, things to come. And keep your weeping in moderation with your status: grieve only as much as is sufficient and right, or you too will be seen to be out-of-balance.”

Thus, the fall day had passed comment in spring’s realm, where people had been wondering just where the chill and unseasonably autumnal weather had come from; this was fall’s little trick on spring, in order to get a face in the scene again. And winter pushed itself into their midst, without, however, being able to make much of a stand, as spring was taking fall’s good advice to heart, though it couldn’t of course know, in its naiveté, that the fall day had its double reasons for being sympathetic, wanting one last unpredictable moment of life before it couldn’t appear for a while.

So, the spring day felt a bit better after its small cry and its consult with its sibling, and started to shine happily, figuring out for itself that that spark of life, humanity, which seemed to figure so large and unwieldy in the calculations of the seasons, might forgive occasional tears and large sopping messes of mourning (for what it mourned, spring couldn’t have accounted, but was sure it had reason). And when summer saw the spring day now beaming brightly, it beckoned warmly and smiled, linking hands with its beginnings, and for the moment, at least, spring was all forward bound, happy, in order, and proud of itself.

Bio: Victoria Leigh Bennett, (she/her).  Ph.D., English/Theater.  Website: creative-shadows.com.  In-Print: “Poems from the Northeast,” 2021.  OOP but available for free on website:  “Scenes de la Vie Americaine (en Paris),” [in English], 2022.  Between Fall 2021-Spring 2023, Victoria will have published at least 32 times in: Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Art, Discretionary Love, The Hooghly Review, Bullshit Literary Magazine, The Unconventional Courier, Barzakh Magazine, The Alien Buddha Press, Amphora Magazine, Roi Faineant Literary Press, The Madrigal Press, Winning Writers, Cult of Clio.  She has also been accepted with 4 poems in Dreich Magazine for 11/2023. Victoria writes Fiction/Flash/Poetry/CNF/Essays.  She is the organizer behind the poets’ collective @PoetsonThursday on Twitter along with Alex Guenther and Dave Garbutt.  Twitter:  @vicklbennett & @PoetsonThursday.  Mastodon:  @vickileigh@mstdn.social & @vickileigh@writing.exchange.  Victoria is ocularly and emotionally disabled.

By davidlonan1

David writes poetry, short stories, and writings that'll make you think or laugh, provoking you to examine images in your mind. To submit poetry, photography, art, please send to feversofthemind@gmail.com. Twitter: @davidLOnan1 + @feversof Facebook: DavidLONan1


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