Poetry: Declaration of Intent | clivejames.com
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Declaration of Intent

My poems are the balladry of cavaliers
Composed in the lost cause that was the King’s,
And if from time to time their ink seems blurred with tears
It is because the way of things
Has gone against the haughty confidence
That once allied sweet music to sound sense,
So now their rhymes and rhythms count as frills and rings.

My poems are the closing words of heretics
Burnt to a cinder and their dust dispersed.
A fierce belief that melts to stain the courtyard bricks
Proves its sincerity at first,
But fades in sunlight as the winning side
Writes history and denies even the pride
Of those who lost, the cruelty that hurts them worst.

My poems written now that I must take my leave
Give thanks good fortune saw me kindly borne
To this departure point, and therefore when they grieve
It is for anyone they mourn
But me. I still recall, when I’m alone,
Children of my age marked with stars and thrown
Into the night and fog, the falling ash of dawn.

My poems sing of life. Though death is also there
In how they crystallise an emphasis
Like a tango maestro pausing, they do not despair:
They just acknowledge the abyss
Awaiting us. It brings finality
To what we were. It will do that for me
Soon now. My poems prove that I accepted this.

My poems take defeat for granted, but they say,
Gallant or gaunt, if we can choose to die
We have been blessed to live. It never came my way,
That random flail of chance, and why
My life must end is known to me. In view
Of these facts, I take care that what I do
Pays back the luck with which I lived to see time fly.