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Five Love Poems: 'V'

Updated on July 5, 2013
KSMcClintock profile image

Kevin was born in Stevenage New Town, UK in the summer of 1959, and graduated from Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge in 1980.

My mistress’ eyes, as emeralds, I can

not see. Comparisons, as such, belie

those stony soft sole twins set scarfed at night

to eye, in privacy, what passes by

her sovereign ranging sight; now, over wrung

by moon ‘clipsed beams, which in their crystal fix

conspire to spy her dreams. They, lying open,

carbon black, at choraled pink-cheeked cherub

boys, who sweetly blow their bubbled gums at

her in joy, take fright. So tightly pursed, her

lights are shaded; but lighting on what suits

- a tailored heart, ensleeved and worn with care –

she minatory, ravels up these threads,

and dives, with pearly chest, to oyster beds!

Sleeping Venus (1944) Paul Delvaux
Sleeping Venus (1944) Paul Delvaux | Source

She, with armoure donned of beaten brass,

metal shone by hard felt peltings, knocked by

goldsmiths tempering with time her whole skin

deeper tannings, chose: a diamond as her stone:

flint-harder, stealing light, no colours called

its own. So needing light, reflected or

refracted through her carbon-hearted head

stone white, she does a deal with Lucifer,

who on receipt of soul will spend for her

eternity unwrung, and send her back

the bill. Still, she gambols, lightly weighing

odds of so improvidently preying.


No peach pink blush nor berry red will stain

my mistress cheek when I unto her bed

am bid; or pinch my skin with spotted hue:

for flavours all, from off her lips are picked,

and tastes, insipid 'side her taste, do lie,

distaste, or polished off; and from her comb

of honeyed hair; and from her face, with kisses

fresh, love’s bloom from off her brightly dust’d

skin ‘s licked. My limner’s enlaced arms

about love’s long lade lap, try calf and breast,

and sigh; and from her mouth I take what’s meet:

so blushing scarlet, from her lips I eat.


My mistress does entreat me lay before

her secret feet my Key: so, 'thusly', I

with ink semantic, stain these covered sheets;

by pen upright, spill spotted codices

and slip her measured notes by sleazy centi-

metered means; thus tracing Psyche’s shadowed

prints in sandy archipelagos of

gulaged buccaneers, bondslaves all

to lusty lives, a thousand wives in every

port of call, girls hanging on their arms, their

pistols cocked and firing fusillades of

steamy smoke aloft to crow: “She blows!”

To fanfares of strumpets, their bluebarbs grows!

Bellerophon, down from Parnassus peeps:

Aphrodite, Hera and Athena

at Zeus’ behest, young Paris are to try.

The poet, seeking she with whom he might

beyond those other swains who wax too far,

soar wingless, Helios bound, mounts Pegasus

in place, and choosing the inflexion of

his own strung dart, departs from Helicon,

Chimaera, Amazon and Solymian

to conquer; also Xanthians, but at

their bare-cheeked face but blushes, shoots his bolts

in gushes at Hephaestus’, and in Zeus’

Olympian direction. So, to woes,

Sans quill he to Olympus boldly goes!

©KevinStantonMcClintock. All rights reserved

Bellerophon on Pegasus
Bellerophon on Pegasus | Source


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