dwell not upon the neverlands


once, I tried to write a linguistics midterm project. Actually, this all happened much more recently: I delved into the project in early November, struggling to force Aiolic patterns of verse onto a stress, not syllable-based, language. That is to say, I tried to make ancient poetry patterns fit with modern English. It… worked, to a certain degree. I bent a few rules, invented some new ones, tweaked a few ideas, and eventually I created this series of quatrains that more-or-less fit Aiolic patterns.

That, of course, came after many failed attempts. The first of these failed attempts somehow ended up developing into something somewhat larger than what I had in mind at the time: it morphed into this longer, rhyming, more thoughtful poem over the course of a few drawn-out hours.

Dwell not upon the Neverlands, those dreams of what could be;

            dwell rather on these here-and-nows, each day’s sweet melody —

For dreams are fickle, and seas of sleep drift hither, thither, nigh,

            but once they pass, they match no more their erstwhile lullabies.


I see you pass your days away in longing for some view

            (perhaps a distant memory that seems to call to you?)

I long to tell you, “Come and stay! Be present for a spell,”

            but, alas! you can not heed me from your living hell.


I see your good, that much you know, and seek this one success:

            to see you laugh and smile again, scoff at indifference.

And should I dare to share my heart unto your suffering state

             I pray that you would find in me a friend to share this weight.


Do not, my friend, push me away because it hurts to feel,

            but draw some balm from these salt-words — I want for you to heal.

To know the joy in sun’s bright rays, or in the stormy gale,

            to puddle-jump, to live, to love, no matter if you fail.


Instead of hiding, my dear friend, I beg you bend your ear

            for somewhere from their hidden coasts, those lullabies draw near.

Fight not, my dear, to stay awake throughout this weary night;

            instead, I ask you, close your eyes, and wait for sleep’s delight.


But when the morning’s lights do come, and through your window shine,

            recall new mercies do abound, and you can call them thine.

Draw on these, then, as newfound truths for strength to pass your day,

            “for you are lovely, and are loved,” to you these mercies say.


So sing your own sweet melody; I hope you find your rest

            and count your favored memories, your joys, your happiness —

For dreams are fickle, and seas of sleep drift hither, thither, nigh

            but once they pass, they match no more their erstwhile lullabies.

cgb, 10/27/12


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