The Poetry of Ellin Anderson

THE TWO PINING BACHELORS

Ellin Anderson
 

When black January broke
And struck an icy marble horn
Hard against the winds that spoke
Of bitter voids in Capricorn,
Our Lady held a moth-winged ship
In her weathered, peeling hand,
And said, a finger to her lip:
"Shall I bring it safe to land
Or let it ride the leaping waves
Until its fragile sails are torn,
Timbers smashed like barrel-staves,
Cast like bones upon the sand?"

Those who venture out to sea
Fear this vessel most of all:
Hull that cups a mermaid face,
Blue eyes open to the wall,
Body lapped in ivory
And brittle foam of creamy lace,
Wrapped in thorns like Briar Rose.  

Through the lattice and the vine
At dawn, he saw the vapors roll
From the roaring fields of brine,
Smooth, jade-colored, and serene;
Churning where the watch-bells toll,
And where the jagged waves define
What is cold, and what is green

Those who venture out to sea
Fear this vessel most of all:
Hull that cups a mermaid face,
Blue eyes open to the wall,
Body lapped in ivory
And brittle foam of creamy lace,
Wrapped in thorns like Briar Rose.  

Where the crimson afterglow
Colors reeds that brush the sun,
And where Narragansett blinds
With silver fluencies that run
Swift as flow of time, she finds
The place where salt tidewater moans  
Between two brittle, upright stones,
Stony eyes on Norman's Woe.

Those of us who venture forth
Like blind needles seeking North,
Or driftwood on a siren sea,
Fear this voyage most of all:
Hull that cups a mermaid face,
Blue eyes open to the wall,
Body lapped in ivory
And brittle foam of creamy lace,
Wrapped in thorns like Briar Rose.

The lonely ships that rise and fall
And calm their rising, falling dread
With the heart's faint semaphore,
Are reminded of their dead;
Evening's shadow-dragging trawl
Touches every tossing bed
With scent of roses from the shore.
 
 

2008 by Ellin Anderson. All rights reserved.
No part of this work may be copied or used in any way
without written permission from the author.


Young Barret O'Bara
Seabrook
Tiger and Blue Jewel

Winter's Hill
Maple-Key Song
November in Camelot

Wassail Song
Veleda
Cinderella
The Rooster at Midsummer
Liberty Enlightens the People

The Leap
The Goldfinch
Three Bears
Song of the Lily
White Tree at Twilight
The Christmas Tree

Song-Sparrow
Grand Bois du Nord
The Owl
Moth Summer
Verticordia
The Little God of Joy
Pear-Petals
Photographing the Moon
A Rabbit
Rose, Do You Know
Lorelei
Persephone

Avalon
The Harvest Chorus
The Maple Mask
Ghost Cardinal

The Little Heath-Rose
Found
The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Song for the Harp

The Spinner
 
The Prayer of Cephalus
Circe and Ulysses
The Black Arts
Tristan and Isolde & Jupiter's Two Casks
Nectanebus

Home Page

More Poems by Ellin Anderson

The Little Mermaid
Vermeer
Anne's Hearth