If I Had Been A Poet

If I had been a poet, I would be very poor
and I’d be dead before my time, in days of yore.
What price you’d pay for loving me
as you walked beside my hearse,
but warmth from all the words I penned
would give you a glow as in your bed at dead of night
you’d reach for my hand and hold it tight
with all that’s left …
a touch of verse.

A benignly jealous world would envy you
because I loved you in the most romantic way
and left you with a rippling stream of words,
colouring my images of you, described with light,
the things that brought us joy by day
and deepest yearnings, longings, through the night
poured by ink, unscrambled thoughts, upon the page,
illuminating you
immortalising you.

It would reveal the depths of love and beauty,
beyond the surface of the page.
No artist ever lived that could describe it;
no artist ever lived could savour its immensity;
its enduring power held beyond the stars
and on the earth by creatures great and small,
each one of which would mourn your loss
far more than mine.
For you they’d pine.

This is a sign you are the one
determines when the sun will set and raise
itself to prompt the birds to sing your praise,
safe in the knowledge that, in your corner of their world,
you will respect them and allow them space
and, in turn, you value them as pearls;
and they, as if romantic fantasy, give you their lives;
thanking you,
loving you.

‘Twas only when our children three,
brought to the world by your unswerving love;
to understand their needs, you learned so faultlessly.
Never daunted by my absence, ever faithful to their cause,
on judgement day ‘twill be your name and you,
not mine or me, who they are thankful to
and they will forever remember this,
thanking you
loving you.

I love you so because of this
I love you more than you will ever know
I love your very feminine intelligence
I love the eyes that smile at me
I love the hair that masks the smile
and whence I love the lips
that first I longed to kiss
so many
years ago.

I love the endearing enthusiastic charm
with which you embrace your art.
I love the afterglow, a moment when
you caught my hand, unexpectedly
standing in the checkout queue,
that sent warm tingles to my spine,
a love-knot round my heart
and thoughts
to reverie.

Oh joy, what joy, I was a boy when first we met.
Now, as a man, I can employ
a host of words and yet
no need, we are a unit indivisible
from far away across the universe,
above the world and all its folly,
just you and me and poetry.
Are we a team,
a close-knit team?

So, when comes the end of every day
we’ll sit, hold hands and then we’ll say
this is the way that it should be
for all the world and more to see
that living things can unfettered flourish
by your gentle hand all life to nourish
and keep it safe for the future of the world,
from the rising
to setting of the sun.

If I had been an artist or a poet
I would be very poor, but I am not,
‘cause I have you, and always know, it is
the kindly goodness of a random world
that made you walk my way, and all the bliss
that charmed my life as it unfurled.
If I had been a poet, I would have written this
for you,
just you.

© 2009 John Anstie

(View the author’s commentary on this poem)

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