Wednesday, October 14, 2009

In Former Days

In former days we'd both agree
That you were me, and I was you
What has now happened to us two,
That you are you, and I am me?

- Bartrhari

Egypt in all its oppulence lies before me
As I sit in jewels and eat grapes.
You stare with hostile eyes
As gold glitters on each servant
And I clap to the rhythm of the dancers.
Sometimes when I think of you all I see
Is a land of Arctic tides and men
Reigning logic, scorning sentiment
And I wonder why it is you're still with me -
In former days we'd both agree
To laugh at Rome, silly Octavius
Marrying off his sister, but oh so
Full of reason, I was vulgarity to him
Wicked witch of dreams
I stole his favourite general
And I wonder, am I vulgar to you?
With you my sweet Marc Antony
I scorned my people and became like you
And you took Egypt. We both knew
That you were me, and I was you.
If only time had stopped just then
Balancing like a juggling act
The perfect symmetry of our two worlds
As if we were a comedy. I weep,
Slowly removing one asp from the basket.
This is beyond my control, nor is it you
Who draws the sword though they say
They saw you do it.
I was content with less than our due,
What has now happened to us two?
Had we but lived a little longer
The cycle would have turned.
Little Egypts, little Romes
Could have saved us like Perdita and Florizel.
We two were one, though I weakened you in battle
And you me at home; would we were at sea,
Rome and Egypt extremes on land
Our marriage of opposites sealed in waves.
What hand has created our tragedy,
That you are you, and I am me?

- N.

1 comment:

  1. Love is a form of socially sanctioned obsessive-compulsive disorder. The initial high is but optimism papering over the vast oceans of ignorance of each lover regarding the other. Our mind is in that moment set free to dream the limitless dreams of perfect happiness together.

    Sooner or later things are seen for what they are. The initial dream of achieving perfection together gives way to a more realistic understanding and more rational expectations of the arrangements we have made.

    We can cherish our blissful memories and re-live them from time to time, in a slightly fading light, as we get on with the business of life together.

    Or at least we can learn from our disappointments and hope our next experience, the magic of first connection with a new lover, leads to a life well lived.

    Either way we make our own break for freedom and the buffeting world slowly pulls us back, sometimes with a thud and sometimes into gentle accommodation.

    It's funny that our happiest moments are our least rational. Our dreams and emotions enliven us. The rest is just preparation for the cold earth that awaits us all.