"After a Rain, Country Road" by Feodor Vasilyev‘Heartfelt Baptism’ and Other Poetry by Mike Ruskovich The Society October 7, 2021 Beauty, Poetry, Villanelle 3 Comments . Heartfelt Baptism The morning rain that washes this day clean of yesterday’s despair, of last night’s sleep, and promises to turn the pastures green by falling gently, penetrating deep, is waking spring in me and in the ground while tapping rhythms on the windowpane that lift my heart to hopeful heights, a sound like soothing whispers singing out my name, like boyhood dreams that somehow weren’t denied the blooming they deserved, the chance to grow. The tears the darkened April sky has cried fall not for naught, because they let me know I’m not detached, but very much a part of what’s outside these walls and in my heart. . . With Earnest Eyes “Beauty is truth, truth beauty.” —John Keats Let us not languish in this age of lies or give away our precious days to grief. Let us pursue the Truth with earnest eyes while liars scheme and selfishly devise dishonest ways of “bringing in the sheaf.” Let us not languish in this age of lies while charlatans convince us they are wise in sermons that roll on without relief. Let us pursue the Truth with earnest eyes, a light the darkness of these days defies with black redactions on a legal brief. Let us not languish in this age of lies; Instead, let’s lift the veil of disguise and face all facts still worthy of belief. Let us pursue the Truth with earnest eyes. It sleeps beneath a shroud but never dies and can be found like spring’s returning leaf. Let us not languish in this age of lies. Let us pursue the Truth with earnest eyes. . . Much Moved “My lord, I see y’are much moved.” “No. Not much moved.” —Iago and Othello, Act III, Scene III I can’t keep still the moving things in me, convulsions caused by paradox and need. The hungry maggot and the honeybee that meld into a strange duality are inkstained blood my veins of humor bleed. I can’t keep still the moving things in me that blind me even as they make me see the lies that bind all charity to greed. The hungry maggot and the honeybee turn laughter loose and set my hot tears free, collapsing walls intended to impede. I can’t keep still the moving things in me, the sweet and bitter bits of clarity, the falling leaves that feed the planted seed. The hungry maggot and the honeybee, like bird songs chasing silence from a tree, raise winds in which my restless passions breed. I can’t keep still the moving things in me: the hungry maggot and the honeybee. . . Mike Ruskovich lives in Grangeville, Idaho. He taught high school English for thirty-six years. He and his wife have four children. NOTE: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 3 Responses Paul A. Freeman October 7, 2021 I particularly liked the first of your two villanelles, ‘With Earnest Eyes’, Mike. It speaks volumes of our times. Your ‘Heartfelt Baptism’ reminded me of the opening lines of the Canterbury Tales, which strangely, only yesterday, I wrote my own take of. Thanks for the reads. Reply Cheryl Corey October 7, 2021 I especially enjoyed “Heartfelt Baptism”. The first four lines pulled me in and made me want to keep reading. The accompanying artwork is lovey and appropriate. Reply Martin Rizley October 13, 2021 I agree with Cheryl Corey about the first lines of “Heartfelt Baptism” drawing you in and inviting the reader to read on. There is some lovely imagery here, and a hopeful outlook symbolized by those April rains that signal the return of spring and of new life. Lovely poem. I also appreciate the call you express in your second poem to seeing truth in an “age of lies.” While the reference to charlatans is well understood– they certainly abound in the modern world– I was not entirely sure to what the phrase “black redactions on a legal brief” refers. Perhaps you had in mind laws that are passed based on lies and propaganda? Good work. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.