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Ross Maclennan Poems
If Lear had hated Limericks and Betjeman a laugh, If Wilde had leaned the other way towards a better half, If Odgen ditched the doggerel and Milligan was sane, If Poe had been a happy man and Plath had shrunk from pain,
Why is this sea so deep and dark, when all around so light? Can't others see how deep it is? So deep and dark and right. O wilfulness, O wantoness, cold lust for night, not day. Warm hands rejected, faces close and puzzled, look away
The Wisdom of youth is a dismal pursuit, Tempered by temper and hardened by boot. The tremulous tears of the difficult age, The pendulum swinging from orgy to rage.
If I could swing but briefly, upon the bough where passion blooms, I would but gently taste those soft embracing flowers. Fragile tenderness, offered brimming with the calm innocence Of morning dew; suckling the sweet bitter balm of cool aloes
If a moment belongs In a stanza or song. Is a treasure so precious and rare.
The blade that cuts clean is a much kinder knife, For the wound heals fast not endangering life. Wounds from steel that is twisted and feeds where it's bled,
Do not regret the act, proud children, Rejecting, causing, backward-looking. Do not disdain to dream and wander, Soaring, climbing, forward facing.
There is little doubt the Artist knows of life And of death and laughter and of tears; Of how to mock the tragedy, or draw the sting from strife Or summon, seer-like, tenderness and fears
If I had lived a thousand years And counted promises I'd kept, The candles lit, the shrines erected, How many vanished whilst I slept?
It's a small black book that contains my life: My mistresses' names and my dear ex-wife. From my brokers fees to my dentists chair. Even the girl who does my hair.
'Be honest, be open' they cried as they fled, Back to their houses and home to their bed. 'The night is upon us and laughter is lost, We played and we gambled and Jesus! the cost'.
Still... Still as the moon in midnights' pond, The darkness slept,
Oh, what a proud world! Watch with awe, the skill with which we carve our pride Upon the hearts of those whose passion's not yet burned:
I'm sure it was just yesterday I left my glasses by the sink. The children gone outside to play, a rare and treasured time to think.
Comments about Ross Maclennan
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
If Lear had hated Limericks and Betjeman a laugh,
If Wilde had leaned the other way towards a better half,
If Odgen ditched the doggerel and Milligan was sane,
If Poe had been a happy man and Plath had shrunk from pain,
If Blyton had been boring and if Superman for real,
If Baggins had not ventured out and Gollum learned to feel,
If Mozart's just too lively and if Rotten plays too loud, or
If Candide had been worldly-wise and Quixote not proud,
If DaVinci had not done it all and Warhol done the rest,
If Nico's Prince had been the worst and Portia's been the ...