A new copyrighted poem for this site, “A Moment’s Rest on Old Laurels”

Dear Fellow Posters and Bloggers,

It’s been so very long since I posted regularly, and I’ve also been reading more irregularly, but now that the New Year is here, I’m hoping to improve my record and get back to doing one of the things I love best, which is interacting with those of you who write in (very much appreciated) and also enjoying the sight of how many people the world over have been here over the last few years, and have done me the honor of reading.  They are always welcome to comment too.

I’m breaking new ground in a sense, because I haven’t regularly written poetry for about seven years now, and I am trying to get back to it.  This is a brand-new poem, just written today, and edited and re-edited a few times.  It’s got a few staggered rhythms, and a sort of “where are the horse and rider?” gist to it in parts, and I know better (have been taught better, that is) than to post a work which is not as “cold” as death and calmly viewed and reviewed for a long time first.  But I’m hoping that you’ll like it anyway, and may find something in it.

“A Moment’s Rest on Old Laurels”

True emptiness
Is not a Buddhist virtue;
And then, real silence,
Almost never heard.
Big darkness resides closely:
Daylight's second self,
True heartbreak, too,
Requires not a word.

All find one day a night too close, too feeble
To breathe in first and then, at last, breathe out.
Sometimes there's nothing to be said about it,
Sometimes, there's only just a labored shout.

To show true colors often takes great courage,
Or maybe great knavery,
Shining and shameless and wry.
Decisions are often merely taken in passing
Or oftener still, are timely well put by,
Or oftener still, are timely well put by.

Where is the proving ground,
Where is the halter
That leads the horse
To champs where he feeds?
How was he able to breast 
Through the battle
In elder days of his rider's need?

Tell me, oh tell me,
Oh wise ones before me,
How can I counter the lame and the halt
When they say to me surely
As I go on two legs,
My false steps
That felled me
Were my own damn fault?

And God in Her Heaven
If such One there be,
Choose wisely between
The opponent and me,
To seat us securely
Each safe in each part,
Where neither wage war
Or defraud counterpart.

For surely there is
In the universe wide
Somewhere that broad ocean,
That unfathomable tide,
Which carries all over
To mysterious shores
And poems and diatribes
Matter no more.

For now, I am hampered
By meter and rhyme,
And so pass my small way,
Relinquish my time;
Remembering, day was
When I too ran fast,
And good fortune smiled on me,
Victor at last.

©Victoria Leigh Bennett, 1/5/17

That’s all, for the time being.  It’s old-fashioned in parts concerning some concepts and of course it rhymes, but sometimes a good jog-along will keep you warm when it’s cold outside, even if the sense is partially morose-sounding.  Have a great first week of the New Year, and if you’re where it’s cold, wrap up (if you’re where it’s warm, remember, your turn will come, if not for cold, then for rain.  These days, we all have so many calamities in world weather that we need to be mindful of each other.  Ta! for now).

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7 Comments

Filed under Full of literary ambitions!, What is literature for?

7 responses to “A new copyrighted poem for this site, “A Moment’s Rest on Old Laurels”

  1. Welcome back, It has been too long! I read your latest post before this one and I am fascinated to know what brought you to these existential thoughts, well I mean this particular time, as you are an intelligent lady and I am sure you have pondered such ideas many times before.

    I love your this part of your last stanza:

    For now, I am hampered
    By meter and rhyme,
    And so pass my small way,
    Relinquish my time;

    Words so often seem too small for what we are trying to convey…

    • I’m glad you like it, thanks for reading. One thing that has haunted me in the time since I have been writing poems again is the addiction I seem to be feeling to rhyme! I mean, many people still do, but I wonder why I can’t seem to break free of it a little, and do something else, like blank verse, free verse, etc. For now, I guess I’m stuck with it, but as I was more trained in older verse forms I suppose that’s only natural. Your criticism is always appreciated.

  2. Rhyme is one of those things we learn first and it helps sometimes to read poems with it purely for that nostalgia vibe as our minds take to the rhythms easily. As that bloke from The Office (UK version) said, ‘there is no right or wrong answers but I’ll tell you if you’re wrong’.

  3. Ah, someone else who has not been as active in their blogging as they should be.

    The poem felt quite Western in the middle portion, like a duelist pondering their mortality the night before their fateful showdown.

    I’ve noticed many posts in my inbox so far this year. Well done, and I hope youe enviable motivation remains and leads you to where you wish to be =)

    • I don’t know exactly about Western, but the bit about God (who at least here is female) deciding between me and my antagonist is sort of a reflection upon political matters in the U. S. recently, asking for moderation and balance. There has to be middle ground somewhere, and I hope we manage to find it before we destroy ourselves. On the one hand, we can’t compromise with evil (such as racism and violence), but we have to remember that our opponents are people too, and may perhaps be reasoned with instead of hated back. One hopes for good, at least.

      • I am all about middle ground, moderation and empathy (I’M NOT A REPLICANT! YAY!), since I need to be for my work… though my middle ground is usually doing other people’s work so they can focus on other stuff more closely related to their departments.

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