Robert Duncan

(January 7, 1919 – February 3, 1988)

Such Is The Sickness Of Many A Good Thing


Was he then Adam of the Burning Way?
hid away in the heat like wrath
conceald in Love’s face,
or the seed, Eris in Eros,
key and lock
of what I was? I could not speak
the releasing
word. For into a dark
matter he came
and askt me to say what
I could not say. “I ..”


All the flame in me stopt
against my tongue.
My heart was a stone, a dumb
unmanageable thing in me,
a darkness that stood athwart
his need
for the enlightening, the
“I love you” that has
only this one quick in time,
this one start
when its moment is true.


Such is the sickness of many a good thing
that now into my life from long ago this
refusing to say I love you has bound
the weeping, the yielding, the
yearning to be taken again,
into a knot, a waiting, a string


so taut it taunts the song,
it resists the touch. It grows dark
to draw down the lover’s hand
from its lightness to what’s
underground.

Submitted: Saturday, April 17, 2010

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