Poem: Clenched Soul, Pablo Neruda

Clenched Soul
Pablo Neruda

We have lost even this twilight.
No one saw us this evening hand in hand
while the blue night dropped on the world.

I have seen from my window
the fiesta of sunset in the distant mountain tops.

Sometimes a piece of sun
burned like a coin in my hand.

I remembered you with my soul clenched
in that sadness of mine that you know.

Where were you then?
Who else was there?
Saying what?
Why will the whole of love come on me suddenly
when I am sad and feel you are far away?

The book fell that always closed at twilight
and my blue sweater rolled like a hurt dog at my feet.

Always, always you recede through the evenings
toward the twilight erasing statues.

Writing Prompt: Love and other demons

As I flick through the photos I’m reminded of the mistakes I’ve made throughout my life. Times when I was cruel to people, mixed in with happy memories and damaged relationships. I have lost people through the carelessness of youth and for that I’m sorry, but I can forgive myself for those transgressions that come from immaturity and the selfish believe of immortality that one carries when they’re young. It is harder to forgive recent crimes and errors of judgement when in your heart you should know better. We make excuses and try to make amends when we’re older, but damage, once done is harder to erase when there is less life before us than there is behind. People grow less tolerant and rightly so, since life is shorter and shorter. There is less time to start over once you’ve been dealt a blow.

So, I sit and scan through the faces of my past and the friends of my present. It’s as though I have built a corral in my heart where I hold the people I love together and occasionally let a new one in. I hold the fence gate sealed tight and try to do nothing to inspire anyone to leave.

I flick through recent pictures and some images instantly make me smile. Friends, my nieces and nephews, godsons and god-daughters. There are some special people in my life who can make my heart jump when I see their name on a text or hear them mentioned in conversation. Maybe it’s for the selfish reason that they have a way of making me feel loved back. The funny thing is, I don’t think anyone of them read my musings. Just as well really, they might find out I’m a big softy and that just won’t do. So, I’m flicking and filing my photos. I savour some memories they inspire and wince at others.

The reason I mention all of this is because as I look through them all, I remember some great stories about the people who have wandered in and out of my life. I feel compelled to write about the memories.

If you ever need some inspiration, grab a box of photos and pick some times that have mattered to you and write about them, both good and bad, leave nothing out, be brutal and honest.

Good luck.

Poem – Yeats: A Drinking Song

A Drinking Song

by William Butler Yeats

Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That’s all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh.

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