Two Kites Ascending

a Spenserian sonnet

Two kites ascending, carried on the wind,
Each in its way, a most delightful thing.
So unalike yet wonderfully twinned,
Defying gravity in taking wing.

The feathered kite, from aeried crags will spring
Into the air and in the heavens, soar.
The silken kite, though tethered by a string,
Yet rises from the Earth to heaven’s door.

As like the feathered kite I, heretofore
Have flitted to and fro, from here and there.
But now, for love of thee, I yearn for more—
To hold your hand while rising through the air.

Great joy is to be found in flying free,
But greater joy when tethered unto thee.



Come Back to Love, My Love

Alas! Shall love of thee be all for naught?
Come back to love, my Love, and do not flee
From my pursuit of thee, for thou shalt not
Find love more true than that which stirs in me.

And yet, apart from thee, my love has none
To love, for all the love I had to give
I gave, and laid it on thine own heart’s throne.
And without love, how shall I deign to live?

For thou art life and breath, my Love; mine all
In all, my morning star, my hope and stay.
So hear my cry, lest I, despairing, fall
Like tears that only thou canst wipe away.

For all my love is thine, and thine alone.
So come, my Love, and join our love as one.




Unending is the sun that shines above the clouds each day;
Unending are the waves that break upon the ocean shore;
Unending is the path that leads the pilgrim on his way;
Unending are the secrets that lie hid behind each door.

Unending is the clash between the sacred and profane;
Unending is the quest for truth in poetry and art;
Unending are the seasons that bring suffering and pain;
Unending is the goodness stored within each human heart.

Unending is the beauty of the music of the spheres;
Unending is the love of God throughout eternity;
Unending is the waltz of love we’ve danced across the years;
Unending did our love begin and, in the end, shall be.



For Love of You

Were I to search the world both far and wide
And chance upon a land of endless bliss—
Eternal life without you at my side—
For love of you I’d trade that world for this.

If I could live a thousand-thousand years
But live those years apart from your embrace,
I’d rather suffer death bathed in your tears
Than live without the joy of seeing your face.

For what is life, though fame and fortune thrive,
If greater treasure be sore cast aside?
For life is dead, and dead though still alive,
When love and all that would be love have died.

If you and love of you were to be lost
To gain the world would not be worth the cost.



James A. Tweedie is a retired pastor living in Long Beach, Washington. He has written and published six novels, one collection of short stories, and three collections of poetry including Mostly Sonnets, all with Dunecrest Press. His poems have been published nationally and internationally in The Lyric, Poetry Salzburg (Austria) Review, California Quarterly, Asses of Parnassus, Lighten Up Online, Better than Starbucks, Dwell Time, Light, Deronda Review, The Road Not Taken, Fevers of the Mind, Sparks of Calliope, Dancing Poetry, WestWard Quarterly, Society of Classical Poets, and The Chained Muse. He was honored with being chosen as the winner of the 2021 SCP International Poetry Competition.

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19 Responses

  1. Carey Jobe

    James, thank you for sharing these love poems. Just beautiful. Their uplifted tone addressing the beloved reminds me of the Elizabethan poets. After reading them, I walked outside (I live in the Florida panhandle) and noticed a pair of swallowtail kites gliding through the air, as if acting out “Ascending Kites.” Soon they’ll be leaving us for Brazil. I thought, that’s what a poet ought to do, write something that immediately and passionately touches another person’s experience of life, their deepest feelings. Thanks again!

  2. Clive Boddy

    Hi James,

    Lovely poems about love – the one thing that connects everything in the living universe and the thing that makes life worth living. It is the ultimate theme for poetry and you have captured it well.

  3. Paddy Raghunathan

    Thou hast my heart tethered to thy love poems, methinks. 🙂

    John Donne, Shakespeare, et. al. now have a serious, or shall we say, love-struck competitor.


  4. Russel Winick

    James, these poems are magnificent – each of them! They are classes that I will never tire of reading.

  5. Jeremiah Johnson

    I like the sentiment at the end of the “Kite” poem. So many these days think love isn’t worth it if you have to be tethered to someone. As Chesterton put it, though, love never has been free – deep down, none of us wants intimacy without some kind of commitment.

  6. Roy Eugene Peterson

    “To gain the world would not be worth the cost” is an enchanting and heartfelt ending to four wonderful sonnets of love and intimate feelings that are increasingly becoming rare these days.

  7. Nathan McKee

    James, thanks for sharing, I found the poem on kites especially creative and like how you wrapped it up in the last two lines.

    “Great joy is to be found in flying free,
    But greater joy when tethered unto thee.”

    I find that ending with a couplet like this is a great way to emphasize something from the stanza, or as you did here, summarize the main message of the poem.

  8. Cynthia Erlandson

    These are all truly delightful, and profoundly moving. I especially love “For Love of You.” But there are so many beautiful lines in all of them, that I can’t even choose a favorite. I think it is refreshing to see the use of “thee” in the first two sonnets. Though I don’t usually use it, I often want to; you’ve shown that there’s no rule against sounding like Shakespeare or the KJV. (Or if there is one, we shouldn’t feel obliged to follow it.)

  9. Margaret Coats

    James, these are magnificent. Every one is a classic in itself, while all recall the classics of English poetry around 1600. What’s better for readers today is your very careful attention to meter. When we read Philip Sidney or Samuel Daniel, there are little snags in the flow, probably due to the style of speech and expectations of the time. These are pretty near perfect. I remember the first one as your first Spenserian sonnet, posted in the Comments to my 2020 essay on that kind of poem. You haven’t changed it, and I like it better than I did then. The second one makes use of the old-fashioned thee/thou second person singular, but sounds quite natural–even that correct sound for the pronominal adjective in “mine all.” The last poem is a bit more modern in word choice, but maintains the seemingly archaic beauty in all. The best is “Unending.” You appropriately choose for it not to be a sonnet with couplet closure. Instead, you put past, present, and future in the final line. I’ll call the meter by its old name of fourteeners (rather than iambic heptameter), and say that I may have read one equal to this, but none better. Thanks!

    • James A. Tweedie


      While I am grateful for all the positive responses to these poems I am particularly tickled by your recall of the origin of the first one. I remember being both challenged and inspired by your excellent essay posted over three years ago. Here is the link to that fine essay for those who might be interested.


      I wrote the sonnet that same day after dinner and posted it as a comment the following morning. I’m glad I finally found the chance to post it along with the other three poems here for the first time.

  10. Cheryl Corey

    “Come Back..” and “For Love of You” are absolutely beautiful, James. So Shakespearean. They deserve to be classics.

  11. Paul Freeman

    It’s all been said above, James and I add my voice. The sincerity shines forth from these poems.

    • Paul Freeman

      I revisited your poems, James, visited the link to Margaret’s marvellous piece on Spencarian sonnets and just wrote my first Scottish’ sonnet.

      Inspired by the multiple heat waves and record- breaking temperatures globally of air and sea this year, it’s about accepting a problem exists before being able to fix it.

  12. Brian A. Yapko

    These love poems, James, are absolutely splendid. My favorites are “Come Back to Love, My Love” and “For Love of You” which are Shakespearian in tone and technique, and as highly skilled as they are deeply moving.

  13. Gary Borck

    What wonderful and beautiful poetry, James!
    Your sublime and profound verse took me on a blissful journey. Those sonnets in particular are expertly put together. The topic chosen, increases even more the heart plucking mood of your work.

    I look forward to more of your uplifting muse!


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