“Love her but leave her wild….”
– Atticus Finch in Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird
I was in Calgary, Alberta this week, reading the morning paper, and came across an article regarding the small Canadian press Coach House Books. This prestigious literary firm is taking a hiatus on accepting new poetry manuscripts, as they are rethinking their business model on the financial viability of publishing poetry moving forward. Such is the state of things in the poetry world. I appreciate those of you who take the time to read my blog and choose to make poetry part of your day.
I enjoy simple Saturday mornings, waking up with nothing better to do than write. Yesterday was one such morning. My subconscious had been messing with several ideas over the course of the week that turned into the following sonnet. Celebrating my children’s birthday has that effect on me, contemplating passage of time.
A Neil Gaiman quote I totally relate to is:
“Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters.”
This sonnet, Not Too Many, has all the things I enjoy about writing sonnets; double meanings, contradictions, internal rhyming, good mouth feel when read aloud and the ability to be reinterpreted by the reader.
A note about burls. A burl on a tree is a reaction to some kind of foreign stress, most often by an insect, virus or fungus, that causes the tree to wall it up in beauty, protecting itself and the newcomer, changing the very nature of their interaction. Burls can be above ground and visible or below ground and hidden but are always covered in bark and nurtured by the tree.
Not Too Many
By T. A. Fry
Why does old love wend its own designs?
In the game of love, I have taken licks
Been knocked down, learned new tricks, only to find
Sometimes, it was just lust or politics.
Then there were children and something new.
Love became an ache that takes my breath away
It’s fierce, complex, bigger than I ever knew.
Love’s not negotiable, it’s here to stay,
And stay and stay, like a burl on a tree,
Each ring a wrinkle, my love’s softer side,
Another bulge to indulge entirely.
For love is a lotion that tanned this hide.
If I had a choice, not one, but any
I would mend love with words, not too many.
© T. A. Fry and Fourteenlines, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to T. A. Fry and Fourteenlines with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.