Eternally Yours

This blog is maintained by Lawrence Eberhart, and the above note is automated.

This outstanding Heroic Crown of Sonnets was written by Joel M. Frey.

 

In wistful sojourn through a thousand lives,
across the chasmed centuries gone past,
he calls her name; it never quite arrives
to fall upon her ear. Just at the last,
she leaves the hall, or shutters windows closed.
The fading echoes rebound, fall, despair
upon the careless earth, alone who knows
how many times he’s haunted up her stairs
and stood before her door, unwilling hand
hung limply at his side. The heavy years
passed by them both again; he hadn’t planned
that they would not meet. This chance disappears
to speak the truth he knows she knows as well;
two ancient souls in broken bodies dwell.

Two ancient souls in broken bodies dwell,
a karmic double-helix twists through time.
They spiral ’round, attracted and repelled
by cosmic force, the space between defined
as two arms’ lengths apart. Their fingertips
will brush by chance; the spark that generates
ignites the kindling lust, the heated lips
which speak the wildfire words of love. The fates
dictate the places, times where their paths cross;
circumstances, consequences feed
the choices made. They’ve chosen fire, the loss
of reason, stoking starving naked need,
dance with abandon, passion, without pride;
they trip light-years fantastic side by side.

They trip light-years fantastic side by side.
The pas de deux began in ancient court
of some small city-state. He is a knight
sent by his Queen, a diplomatic sort
of mission. At a dinner hosted by
the local King, the knight, while taking in
who might be helpful or a hindrance spies
a shaken mane of gold, blue eyes within
her stunning face, struck slack with ennui
until she meets his eyes. An eyebrow lifts,
a corner of her mouth curls up, unseen
by all save the old man beside. He shifts,
and stands to pound his staff. The hall is still;
bound by an angered mage’s curs’ed spell

Bound by an angered mage’s curs’ed spell:
“Your burning gaze, Sir Knight…your smile, milass;
returned. You want each other? Very well!
So mote it be; I’ll have it come to pass.
She will be linked to you, eternally
yours, to have, to hold and never love;
to consummate and quench your lust will be
your death. And you shall lust, by Jove above!
I hereby mate your everlasting souls;
condemn you with a love like Hades’ fires,
passion’s heat incinerates you whole.
You’ll take him, child, and kill him with desire.
You’ll die for her; she’ll bring you to her knees
across uncharted lands, bedragoned seas.”

Across uncharted lands, bedragoned seas
uncounted years of wandering, he seeks
asylum from the memory of her eyes.
The softest skin, most gently blushing cheeks,
wildest fingers raking skin from back,
ever-changing hips which thrust and thrash;
the tavern wench, the courtesan, all lack
whatever power it would take to smash
his crushing need. An aching pilgrimage,
life spent in shameless chase to slake the lust
imposed by jealous wizard in his rage.
Now weak and old, he walks alone through dust
and sandstorm, seeking solace, final rest
in desert’s scalding carborundum breath

In desert’s scalding carborundum breath
she oversees construction of her tomb.
Her father started it; upon his death,
she left the mage to build the solemn room
of memory. The waves of slaves pour sweat
in rivers onto stones, their muscles scream
and ripple in the undulating heat.
Mirage becomes a staggering man, unseen
by all but she. She mounts and rides to bring
some water, some relief. When their eyes meet,
their souls enmesh, their spirits start to sing,
his failing body falls about her feet.
They’re found again, and still there’s no release;
not even end of life can bring surcease.

Not even end of life can bring surcease;
she lived another twenty years beyond.
His final gaze of longing gave no peace,
but chained her in the everlasting bond
of arcane condemnation. Her damned heart
is pierced by passing seconds, every one
a blunted needle, mildly poisoned dart
not strong enough to stop her pulse’s run.
The mage’s gift to her: the agony
of life remembering her lover’s kiss,
then a death too short to set her free.
It sends her toward another fatal tryst,
spun round again the universe’s width;
their love a measured minuet with death.

Their love a measured minuet with death,
a dance with destiny. They wake again
to unfamiliar bodies, unknown paths
meandering across the haunted plain
of time. A muddy pasture, half a million
blissful stoners join in raucous song:
“…and you make it hard”. Among the hills run
junkie lovers who can do no wrong,
all sharing bodies, needles ’til the smack
runs out. Her shaking arms strapped ‘cross his chest;
he huddles close, awaiting the next stack
of Methadone. He shivers; breathes his last.
She cries and rocks his body, they will spoon
throughout the summer’s thundered afternoon.

Throughout the summer’s thundered afternoon
as heavy clouds erupt on thirsty soil,
cooler air meets skin on fire, a boon
to Magdalene and lover. The sweet oil
washes off, the rain obscures the sound
of marching feet. Centurions approach
and snatch him from her side. “So now you’re found
beside this one, whose last ride gave us such
an evil time. We strung him up, but now
his body’s gone, and you were seen beside
the tomb. You’ll die just as he did, and how.”
She watched another man be crucified.
Supported by her love, in peace he passed
between first breath of spring and winter’s last.

Between first breath of spring and winter’s last,
the royal courtyard at Versailles in bloom
is laid out for the party. Every face
is rouged, each powdered wig precisely groomed.
The hundred soldiers stand down, raise a toast,
Vive le roi! One teasing courtier
seduces a queen’s guard to leave his post.
Behind a hedge, they make love unaware
of peasants, women milling through the gate
in search of bread and royal blood, not cake.
He runs to save the Queen, and seals his fate;
the mob will kill for revolution’s sake.
The oaks a silent witness to his doom
in autumn colors, reds and golds festooned.

In autumn colors, reds and golds festooned,
the twin moons rise and set, reflecting sun
upon the biodomes. Earth shines down, ruined
by man’s neglect, what could not be undone.
The population by law zero sum;
resource conservation held above
the joy of new life. Parents here must come
to know the anguish of requited love.
She bears his child; they knew too well the chance
they took. The court will force a choice be made:
the father or the child. A tear, a glance
as he’s locked out. She watches as he fades
in cryogenic punishment, life lashed
to winter’s icy shackles holding fast.

To winter’s icy shackles holding fast
her soul, she proffers prayer, slogs through the sleet
toward her cloistered cell. One chilling blast
wraps habit ’round her, knocks her off her feet.
The heavy, sodden cloth, the wind prevents
her gaining purchase on the frozen ground.
From monastery cot, the monk could sense
distress. In thin burnoose he dashed and found
her, cold as stone, yet breathing; swept her up
and rushed her to the hearth. His warm embrace
brings on familiar heat. Their pasts stirred up,
relived, decision made within a trace:
“‘Tis best this time we live, and never start.”
Their minds attuned, yet cleft by broken heart.

Their minds attuned, yet cleft by broken heart;
the aching need grows stronger day by day.
He tends her failing health without regard
to duty, vows. Her weak voice strains to say,
“I will be gone before you this time. Hear
me out; this may be what we need to break
our curse. Stay with me as my time grows near;
and love me as the Reaper comes to take
my soul, and finish with me after I
have left. God will forgive sins we’ll commit
for man alone has damned us. We must try
or curse ourselves, continue to submit
to endless pain, remain just as we are:
connected, blessed, and doomed to be apart.”

Connected, blessed, and doomed to be apart,
they cling to every moment here and now;
the priceless beating of her failing heart,
his passions roil in an unending flow.
He gazes deep in her eternal eyes
as they glaze over, looking past his face
into the hollow stare of death. She lies
suspended between life and time and space,
to hear an old, familiar voice sound in
her ears. “To dance with death before him
as you rut…how clever! Most astounding
that you’d carry out this futile whim.
He dies; you’ll live, just as the curse defines,
in wistful sojourn through a thousand lives.”

In wistful sojourn through a thousand lives,
Two ancient souls in broken bodies dwell.
They trip light-years fantastic side by side
Bound by an angered mage’s curs’ed spell.
Across uncharted lands, bedragoned seas,
In desert’s scalding carborundum breath
Not even end of life can bring surcease;
Their love a measured minuet with death.
Throughout the summer’s thundered afternoon,
Between first breath of spring and winter’s last,
In autumn colors, reds and golds festooned,
To winter’s icy shackles holding fast;
Their minds attuned, yet cleft by broken heart:
Connected, blessed, and doomed to be apart.

(c) 2014 Joel M. Frye

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One Response to Eternally Yours

  1. Bob Rodriguez says:

    Hello Lawrence,

    Your poetry is quite beautiful, indeed. I have admired it from afar for some time, now.

    I too am writing a sonnet redouble’. Your analyses of the various samples you so doggedly uncovered is nothing short of profound. I was able to find some, but nowhere all those that you found.

    I was especially taken by your reading of “The Gift,” which you observed was the only sample that technically qualified as a Sonnet Redouble’ in that none of the others had line 14 of Sonnet 14 be the same as line 1 of sonnet 1.

    Why I am writing, is because, before I get much farther into my sojourn to compose a sonnet redouble’, I am especially curious to learn your take on the volta in a sonnet redouble’, especially since you found one lacking even in The Gift. Of course we understand where a volta should go in a standard 14-line sonnet–usually in between the second and third verses.

    My paramount question is this: where should/does the volta go in a sonnet redouble’? After sonnet 10, perhaps? Somewhere else? Wherever it may be that the volta goes in a sonnet redouble’, does that mean that the entire sonnet that constitutes the volta, is the volta? Just one line or verse? Something else? I am very cloudy on this and would love some clearing of the skies on the whole matter of the where the volta goes in a sonnet redouble’, and perhaps even more so, what exactly does one look like?

    I thank you so much in advance, Lawrence, for any thoughts on this you might care to share, at your convenience.

    Most appreciatively,

    Bob Rodriguez

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