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Two poets write across the fields of time.
Locked in fierce argument, they know that death
is but a narrowing, a birth, while rhyme,
so many view with merriment, is breath
divine, and metered phrase as solid as
the calfskin boots our roving poet left
beside her bed the night he fled, alas,
into a meteor’s swift path. Bereft,
the poetess whose form so lovingly
did influence our poet learned that he,
though cleft in two, annoyingly
refused to let his poet muse go free.
We’ll write, my love, throughout eternity,
let no sad partings bar my need of thee!

Eight months and twenty years the poetess
wrote on, no charming poet at her side—
or so the populace believed. Much less
could they conceive the famous two were tied
like Janus, facing back and front, one here,
one gone, entangled by resentments that
had fueled both to rise to stratospheres
of passion and comparison, till, splat!
The pull of him she’d ceased to love caused her
to push until her veins o’er pressured, snapped.
Yet, though bodiless, they’d passed no further
than your average warring pair. Patience sapped,
the poetess declared: a partimen
to part us with a binding, firm amen!

The poet, who desired to write again
with fingers and a pen, agreed. What form
shall we adopt to part and justly win
our freedoms back? Rules say we must conform
and speak three times before the arbiter
can judge, and I’m quite over-sonnetized.
Me too, she said. The witty French trouvères
took only eight lines to romanticize;
you decide the rhyme, take all the time you
need, haha! He threw his gauntlet down.
Copla mayor! The rarer scheme we’ll do,
a-b-a-b-b-c-c-b, you clown.
We’ll see who laughs the last and best,
and from each other win much needed rest.

To be continued…


© Elaine Stirling, 2014