The epic is the king of all poems, but the sonnet is surely the prince! I grew to love this great form during my first year at university (which included such inspiring classes as Introduction to English Literature).
The poems have been arranged in chronological order (though minor tweaks may have been made at later dates). You can probably see how I've progressed, both in metre and in language. In earlier poems there are still many irregularities in rhythm. Now I try my best to write as good and regular iambic verse as I can. The fact that I am not a native English speaker will obviously cause some flaws, though.
Sadly I haven't written verse poetry for quite some time now (apart from the occasional song lyric or haiku). It's not because I don't love it, but because I'm just too lazy.
(undated, probably late 2000/early 2001)
It is a dark wind that from the sea blows,
And in the mountain hollows grimly howls.
A fear in hearts of men this evening grows,
As cold and hot as Hell in Earthly bowls.
What wind is this that young hearts doth so shatter,
And old, weary hearts doth turn to gray stone,
As ladies' teeth do in the shadows clatter
In greeting to this wind that bites the bone?
Though long years have men suffered wicked weather,
And lived amidst the raging tides of yore,
No wind blew them like these tiny feathers,
Ere this unholy wind did crack the door.
For now in this new age is man forsaken,
When riders four this new wind doth awaken.
After New Year 1998
(undated, probably late 2000/early 2001)
'Twas a dark eve in the dawn of the year,
And the sky was a fair Lady in black.
Countless diamonds on her gown did she bear,
And left diamonds on the ground in her track.
But in the cold night a warm light was seen,
A fiery broach on the dark dress of Night,
Just a spark in the dark it might have been,
But to us 'twas all but heavenly bright.
And in that light like pure gold shone her hair,
As her dress did sparkle white as the snow.
And then she smiled so innocent and fair,
As she slept by me did my love but grow.
This sight of an angel will ever be,
Though forever that love be lost to me.
On Man's First Words
(undated, probably early 2001)
'Twas in the days of yore, when stars shone brighter,
and the woods were alive with wondrous things,
that the first man his eyes opened, a fighter
whose goal was to crown himself king of kings.
But no power he found o'er tree nor beast,
for each of them lived the life that they willed.
And though he could kill one and have his feast,
a thousand roamed free for each that he killed.
'Til one night the answer came in a dream,
when fair speech of the faerie folk he heard:
to use fair names: words in place of a scream,
and gather up all the beasts in a herd.
And though tarnished our words may be today,
names still lead our herds on their endless way.
To a Memory
(11 May 2001)
Just like a distant dream it seems to me,
A vision of unearthly happiness,
A passing glance, the rustle of a tree,
Who full of joy greets the warm wind's caress.
Yet, for me that dream was four seasons long,
But more than dream! A life-long memory.
I clearly hear the words of every song,
And still I sing them to no one but thee!
And, though I wrote them in that dreamlike haze,
When in that other realm I knew but you,
And though you broke my heart, you've earned my praise,
Because with you I dreamed a dream that's true.
In dreams I still caress your golden hair,
Then walk my lonely road with mem'ries fair.
(18 May 2001)
'Tis past the midnight hour, the world so still,
No feathered friend doth sing, no wind doth blow,
No moon tonight shall share her golden spill,
No river of starlight tonight will flow.
And yet, the rain that falls, 'tis not but gray:
'Tis sparkling silver with diamonds adorned!
A crown for leafy heads of green that play
And dance with the rain. Why was I not warned
Of nights like this, when I should lay asleep?
Yet my soul feels so refreshed, wild my mind,
Through waking dreams and mem'ries deep I leap,
My childlike fancy seeking fairy-kind.
Though well I know that I should lay and rest,
Tonight I'll read of realms that I love best.
(30 May 2001)
The time for pain and sorrow is long past,
Though at one time I did those feelings harbour.
When love I trusted disappeared so fast,
my chamber felt but as a white sepulchre.
Yet time heals all wounds, they say, and 'tis true,
Though at night sometimes the old wound still aches.
A dream it feels, the pain that I went through,
forgotten the toll separation takes.
And here I lie again, 'tis dark the night,
the mem'ry of your smile a dreamy haze,
fading, into night, replaced by a sight
of dark emptiness: silent, endless maze.
Though 'tis almost healed, that wound made by thee,
I fear loneliness deeper wounded me.
Upon Seeing the Film 'Ladyhawke'
(24 June 2001)
In living pictures I heard tell a tale,
Of such great sorrow it did touch my heart,
Of two lovers, a warrior and a frail
Maiden, fair as night, which held them apart.
Alas! such a curse was placed upon them,
That never could they hold each other tight,
For in the day that lady like a gem
Took the form of a great hawk, and by night
In shape of wolf her lover was entrapped.
Thus never could they meet, not night or day,
Though e'er together, in their longing wrapped,
'Neath moon and sun they made their lonely way.
Yet through their love, and that of their dear friends,
Did fate at last them free and make amends.
A Sonnet to an Ice Cream Van
(25 September 2002, based on true events)
And in those blesséd times where I still dwell,
In fondest memories I still there stroll,
In autumn days I still recall so well,
We walked the twilight streets without a goal.
And in this corner of suburban town,
In an old park we stopped a while in thought.
Therein we climbed a hill and then looked down,
Upon the world, in autumn's magic caught.
There in an endless moment we embraced,
Forgetful in each other's warmth a while,
Just two alone, the darkened world we faced,
when interruption came, so cruel and vile!
Disturbed by a most haunting melody,
O! Ice cream van, how I do detest thee!
(28 March 2003)
But in this ancient hall I lay imprisoned,
And listened to the whispers of days gone,
As through the windows I saw stars that glistened,
And burned with passions I had lost, but one
Which e'er did rage within my ancient heart.
This passion was to fly to meet these stars,
And from this vile, disgusting fate depart.
But oh! the adamant will of these bars!
And each and every night I saw a flame,
A shooting star that past my sight did fleet,
As if to tempt me: "Join my joyful game!"
But never once could I my playmate meet
And in this ancient hall I did abide
Forever watching mem'ries further glide.
(28 March 2003)
But what did old Tobias see inside,
As in his magic crystal he did gaze?
A forest in his mind that was ablaze
With flames so ancient they could brake his pride?
And in his soul he found an ancient maze,
Where eagles still above the world did glide,
And spirits within spirits did abide,
As wrapped the world was in forbidding haze
That robbed all sanity from human will.
And in this crystal he is gazing still,
For in that ancient world he saw a dream,
A blazing, running, shining little gleam,
A hope to find a new, yet ancient world
And from this darkest boredom be there hurled!
(28 March 2003)
In aftermath I lay, but did not glow,
As piece by piece the world did crumble down.
And though around me energies did flow,
They passed around me, like a loose fit gown
That did not touch my skin, yet kept me warm,
As through the crumbling world the cold of space
Assaulted me like some derangéd swarm
Of parasitic particles. My face,
So bare against the dreadful winds of death,
Was numb to all sensation, sight soon gone.
In this cocoon I needed not a breath,
For Death was far beyond, as far as sun
Whose face, my last and only memory,
Was gone forever, winked away in glee...
The poems on this page are released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license. You are granted permission to distribute and modify them, as long as you credit me, Ben B. Bainton, as the original author and distribute the poems or any derivative works under a similar license.