To Dawn

by I. Warble Seduce

I. Warble Seduce is a poet of Romantic leanings. Dawn is his paramour.

It’s evening. An aroma of roses
arises in the garden. Sunlit rays
of gold enfold the myrrh and frankincense,
a carpet under you, the best of days.

Night lies down slowly. I can still smell them—
there dangling, each sweet honeysuckle gem,
the roses wafting in th’ air as we stepped,
a song of love, while summer gladly slept.

Dawn came, you know, between the hand and thorn.
Your hair flowed on the wind through time’s eclipse.
Dew drops adorned your ears and your soft lips,
so heavenly alive, oh, in that morn.

It was an evening of lovely roses—
the sun shown on—I ‘ll hold it forever.

I wanted once to get to you, and so
I got into a plane upon th’ runway.
I thought that I could somehow get to you.
I flew up to the clouds and through the day.
I watched the fast propellers spin in sky.
I saw the highway disappear below.
I saw vast fields and forests passing by.
I saw white waves upon the beach touch gold.
But I could not reach you, though I was with
you in that wonderful blue wind. Oh, my!
Ahead I saw ten thousand other things,
but I could not see you up there so high.
So down I came from where I’d climbed; for where
I’d been you were not—there—was only air.

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4 Responses

  1. David Watt

    These pieces highlight to me the versatility of the sonnet in expressing emotions using variations in form. My favorite is ‘To Dawn’ for lines including ‘a song of love, while summer softly slept’

  2. Sbede Cawlie Ru

    Mr. Watt, it is heartening to hear from an Australian; for my poetic impulse, although it is international in scope, draws very particularly from Australian literature’s bush ballads, writers like Adam Lindsay Gordon and Banjo Paterson. For example, here is just one of many poems written by my Australian charichord Walibee Scrude that has until just now not seen the light of day.

    The One Who Got Away
    in memory of John Streeter Manifold (1915-1985)

    Beneath the waratahs and wattles, and tall coolibah,
    there was a bunyip lurking in the oxbow billabong.
    The moon was at the full that week. It chased the bloodshot sun,
    that scattered golden rays about as it had always done.
    A bather came to swim a bit; he felt the water’s kiss.
    When he jumped in, its tingle tickled his skin with its hiss.
    He swam about; his legs were free; his arms and hands were too.
    There in the night he felt so good. He thought that this would do.
    But lo, behold! behind him there, a big, bad, brawny beast
    had come up to him in that swamp to bite him in the east.
    What could he do? He had no hope that he could get away.
    It looked like he was stuck within, and that he’d have to stay.
    He splashed about, as if he were a crazy man set free,
    or one who was within the thrall of epileptic seize.
    The bunyip grabbed him in its paws, proceeding to attack.
    The bather tried to get away, but it was on his back.
    He shook, he shivered, shaking, quaking, quivering and rocked.
    He wondered would he reach the bank before he was defrocked.
    He kept his cool, he tightened up, he held on for dear life.
    He wondered would he make it through the bunyip’s strength and strife.
    He went along, relaxing, calm, so when the bunyip moved,
    he slid away along its length; it was a perfect groove.
    So he escaped, and he survived, the bunyip’s mighty grip,
    the only one…perhaps…because he’d had him on the hip.
    By following along with it, and waiting for a break,
    there came a moment he could flee and his sweet exit make.
    Beneath the waratahs and wattles, and tall coolibah,
    one dude escaped the bunyip in the oxbow billabong.

    I have to admit I am not really partial to the sonnet at this time (though I have to admit to writing so many of them, I have no idea how many I have written, and also in the various forms, Italian, English, French, Russian, American, etc.). I know Mr. Mackenzie does not like the sonnets of Gerard Manley Hopkins; but I must admit I went through “school” with his sonnets. As for the two sonnets I have placed in the poem “To Dawn,” the first one was a free verse work of the early 1980s, which I recently revised, and the second one was also written some time ago, perhaps before this published single-sentence sonnet.

    At Siding Spring
    by Walibee Scrude

    In daylight, past the intricate, white-cupped
    radio telescopes at Siding Spring,
    Australia, one can see them pointing up,
    and make another sighting—jumping—zing—
    a kangaroo leap through the dry brown grass
    beneath the brilliant, beautiful blue skies,
    that doesn’t pause, but moves by very fast
    the metal owls that are the planet’s eyes
    down under, constantly alert, aimed at
    the centre of the Milky Way, in day,
    or night, as quiet as a wombat that
    is hid below the Southern Cross display
    or the two Magellanic Clouds nearby,
    part of our Local Group, that round us fly.

    As several writers, like McGrath, Mantyk, and C. B. Anderson, are aware, the form I favour at the present moment is the tennos, as can be seen stretched out in “The One Who Got Away” or in the following succinct tennos

    On the Execution of Breaker Morant (1864-1902)
    by Walibee Scrude
    “When blame, reproach, and worldlings’ scorn/ On every side are met…”
    —Harry Morant, At Last

    Caught for retaliating for the death of his confrères,
    he was court-martialed for the massacre of prisoners,
    as well as for the murder of a German minister,
    that drover, horseman, poet, military officer,
    “the Breaker,” Harry H. Morant, and executed for
    those actions that took place back in the Second Boer War.
    The controversy of those deaths continues to this day.
    Was he unfairly targetted, a warning on display?
    or rightfully dispatched for his behavior in the field—
    that mix of horror, honour, onus that such conflicts yield?

    As a final note, one of my favourite Australian songs is Jack O’Hagan’s “Along the Road to Gundagai.” G’day.

    • David Watt

      Thank you Mr Wise, or should I say Mr Scrude?

      I really enjoyed reading “The One Who Got Away.”
      It is a great composition which relates a typically Australian theme and story.

      “At Siding Spring” and “On the Execution of Breaker Morant” both demonstrate an affinity with Australia and its culture/landscape.

      With a moniker of Bruce and your love of Australian bush ballads, you surely qualify as an honorary Aussie.

      I share a great affection for the work of Banjo Paterson, such as “The Geebung Polo Club” and “The Man From Ironbark.”

      My other favourite is C.J. Dennis, including appropriately for this forum, “A Guide for Poits”, and “A Spring Song.” C.J. certainly had a knack for clever construction enhanced by a sprinkling of slang.

      “Along the Road to Gundagai” is a classic song, truly Australian.

      Thank you very much for sharing your poems. I look forward to reading more, whether in tennos or sonnet form.

      Kind regards

  3. BDW

    The setting of “Dawn, Part 1” was Bellingham, Washington, in the early 1980s, a real place, from which at this vantage point I sense Hölderlin.


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