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Archive for September, 2009

Playing at Aeneas

By Carl Laamanen

 

“Love, you tyrant! To what extremes won’t you compel our hearts?”-The Aeneid

 

Am I anything other than

A mortal man?

Did you expect more

From me?

 

I was lost and confused

Life was misery

I took the only chance I had

And it was you

 

My passion, fanned into flame

Your kisses so tender and sweet

Our marriage bed, at least in name

Your touch was more than I could resist

 

But I am meant for more

Than just your love

You gave up everything

And I took it all

 

Your name, your reputation

Sullied by my saccharine whispers

I drew you in

But you let me

 

Now I must leave

I’ve had my fling

The gods beckon me

To take my place as king

 

Can you blame me?

Husband of a jealous lover

Or king of man’s pinnacle?

 

As I sail out to sea

I look back once more

Unknowing that as I once ravished you

Now a blade has done the same

 

My hands clasped around that hilt

For it was I that brought you to it

 

Dear Dido, my bride

Has my sin hurt you that much?

Oh Christ, my Lord

Do I kill you afresh everyday?

 

Carl Laamanen

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Sea

 

“We are made of time. We are its feet and its voice. The feet of time walk in our shoes. Sooner or later, we all know, the winds of time will erase the tracks. Passage of nothing, steps of no one? The voices of time tell of the voyage.”-Eduardo Galeano

 

As I set foot upon this sturdy deck

I question where this ship will lead me

 

The wind begins to blow and the sail unfurls

As I set off for waters unknown

 

All my dreams loom so large

But fall beneath the azure waves

As I begin this otherworldly charge

 

The stars shine like dancers in the night

As I become another of their slaves

And hope they lead me to the light

 

The foamy sea crashes upon my ship

Causing the deck to shake

Yet, still breath escapes from my lips

Even though my heart begins to quake

 

The cold wind blows

Leaving only a shadow of the heat

The clouds circle like crows

And I alone stand in this mighty fleet

 

Oh how great a pride

Falls to the depths of the deep

As the ship tries to match stride for stride

Too much faith is required to make this leap

Into the sparkling blue

 

But my final destination

Cannot be found through mere charts and maps

But merely an unnerving devotion

To keep myself from the traps

That keep me from You

 

So let the sun break o’er my brow;

And may You alone guide this ships prow.

 

By Carl Laamanen

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poem

Cleavage of the Ewe

 

The gentle snow loving me

as stars love the night sky as

Narcissus loved the echo he

heard in his deep blue eyes.

 

The falling snow loving me

for no reason but the sweet

and reasonable reasons of

love, as this snow falls to my

older whitened hair, it a new

model color white, it always

newer and drawn to those

things it cannot be;

 

solid, warm, settled for sure.

 

And I love the snow falling on my tongue

as I stand like a lily in water with the pistil

so irreverent, exposed for sheer joy in the

murky green pond-still wetness aching for

the sweet hummingbird to come to me, to

come wild and ray-yellow upon the electric

wings pushing the frail petals open more.

 

I wait like this

with my faux

red head

as the snow

presses, grey

 

on me like Narcissus in love.

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