These Twins

These twins came forth in one amniotic sac.
They sensed the danger they had come upon
And both held hands to keep that danger back:
It truly was the best they could have done.

Their need for holding hands kept them in place
Until the water broke at last at birth,
And all gave heart-felt thanks to this, God’s grace,
Which gave them blissful love and loving mirth.

They now hold hands with joy most all the time,
And know each other’s thoughts without a sound;
They know they hurt when separate, and pine,
Yet, ever close, by total love are bound.

But why do I now think of Margaret Sanger?
Whose name forever rhymes with “coat hanger.”



Following Shakespeare

While I do know full well that I shall fail,
I still will try to wield such alchemy.
While my plain brains against much effort rail,
‘t May be that brains and I such toil will flee.

To do the task the master did – with skill
To write a sonnet fraught without a fault –
Would wreak in my impeded mind a thrill
And cause my ageing frame to somersault.

Nevertheless, I may confirm the word
Above with difficulty so described,
Referring often to such words that stirred
Romance, while well with elixir imbibed,

That, dead and gone, my brightness be recalled
By some of you, though Harcourt never called!



Leo Zoutewelle was born in 1935 in The Netherlands and was raised there until at age twenty he emigrated to the United States. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Davidson College, in North Carolina, and a Masters in Business Administration from the Darden School in the University of Virginia. In 1977, he went into business for himself in the field of land surveying, which he maintained until 2012, when he retired. Since then, he has written an autobiography and two novels (unpublished).

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4 Responses

  1. C.B. Anderson

    Leo, the diction & the syntax in the second poem are muddled.

    “I still will try to wield such alchemy.” needs an antecedent. “such alchemy” makes no sense without reference to an alchemy to which it is being compared.

    “To write a sonnet fraught without a fault –” This isn’t English — a sonnet may be fraught with fault, but “fraught without a fault” is nonsense.

    “while well with elixir imbibed,” is also nonsense. “Imbibe” means to drink. I think you meant something like “imbued.” But that wouldn’t rhyme. One can imbibe elixir, but not with anything be imbibed, unless one is a liquid being imbibed with something else by someone.

    • Leo Zoutewelle

      CB, I appreciate your comment, but it occurred to me that you did not notice that I let the little humor in the verse spill over a bit in the text itself.
      Perhaps I shouldn’t have. But thanks.

      • C.B. Anderson

        You are correct. I find no humor in mutilated English.

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