A Riverside Sonnet

Under a tree and upon roots I sit,
Drinking a forlorn draught of love’s sweet rhyme.
Leaves fall and birds fly to distract my wit,
For I’ve seen her not in so long a time!

Days beyond counting are measured in years,
Stretched out by feelings so tenderly kept.
Over the river the green sheds its tears.
Mine, for the hoping, have still not been wept.

However it happens, one day we’ll meet,
And dance in the misty joy of the morn!
Into the water we’ll dip tangled feet,
Our hearts as one shall ne’er again be torn.

Ever flows the river beside the tree,
As surely I know she’ll sit beside me.

 

The High Sierras

At Crescent Meadow in Sequoia National Park, CA

High up above the stifled plains,
Ageless mountains loom without names.
Jagged peaks and rocky spires;
Summer meadows licked by fires.

There great pines surge toward the sky,
Risen swiftly through years gone by.
Roots and branches twist on the ground,
Long time dead or recently downed.

Dry leaves settle in golden brush,
Fanned by the tender breeze’s push.
High trees toppled, immense and old,
Are buried ‘neath the meadow’s fold.

Blue skies mock predators in flight,
‘Til evening dusk heralds starlight.
Seasons pass and lands rearrange,
Yet cliff and stone find little change.

Upon those heights a timeless scene,
From low vales remains unseen.

 

Into the Storm

A chilly wind blew and grey storm clouds rolled,
Tumbling from the faraway north.
The morning sun was dim and church bells tolled,
Quiet and cloaked a man set forth.

Across the greensward from the sleepy town,
He set off at a trudging pace.
With chattering teeth and eyes peering down,
White mist danced upon his grim face.

He welcomed warmly the dark sky full of wrath,
That lonely man whereto he went.
He grinned through the trials along his path,
And his weary heart was content.

Wending up steep hills and down through deep fens,
From his worn boots wrung no small fee.
Though low clouds burst upon uncounted bends,
He made his way toward the sea.

After a time he arrived where he went,
Beside a boat moored in the bay.
The rain lashed out and through his old cloak rent.
On wild seas he spent the day.

 

Gregory Liebau is a young man from California with a history degree from San Francisco State University
(2012). His work has previously been published in historical magazines.

Featured Image: “The Lady of Shalott” by John William Waterhouse.

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3 Responses

  1. B G

    Classical art always wakes me up. So sometimes it’s hard because …who like to wake up?:-), but there is an element to it that is basically like life itself.

    Reply
    • Gregory

      Hello B G,

      Thanks for the comments! Sorry it took so long to get back to you… Have been on a lovely vacation. My style is very strict, indeed, mostly because I read ancient and medieval literature where freedom of form among the old masters is limited or nil. The ‘sense of precision,’ as you say (I’m blushing) is simply a matter of a great deal of editing what usually begins as a very free-spirited and untidy poem jotted down on a piece of paper at a moment’s notice. Cheers!

      Reply

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