Sunday, December 4, 2016

Niagara Sonnet Thirty

O flame that circles me—O wisdom’s light,
seeking the way through my utter darkness,
hurtling from the outside through the starkness
to the inside of my heart, a dark night
of the soul cannot distance purer thee—
for I would write in ink your mind untold,
and fashion you as from clay to the world,
until the blind could endless, boundless see.
Through obsession I would find my novice;
she would be of one love and one desire,
lone in a convent cell she would retire.
She is blessed olive without one vice,
of a still-chaste, and contemplative place;
now humans could not boast to see this face.

Emily Isaacson

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Niagara Sonnet Twenty-Nine

If I have loved you in a thousand ways
I have lit a thousand candles for you,
I have made a fire and cooked a beef stew.
My heart is sincere, my mind never strays:
I would but give a thousand gifts that morn,
if my life held you in one thousand wings,
if I gave away a half-dozen things,
my sentimental songs you would not scorn.
One thousand carollers stood at your door,
there was no unserved guest, no unmet need,
before your home of hospitality,
and each one ringing louder than before.
I’ll laugh again before my life is through,
because you have loved me and I’ve loved you.

Emily Isaacson

Friday, December 2, 2016

Niagara Sonnet Twenty-Eight

Now to my end I come in stately black,
for I am but a prisoner of this earth,
I can’t escape its clutches or its wrath,
nor any of its loves, nor laughs, nor births.
I bear the lovely France a final fleur,
I witness of this hour before the flame,
for all my visions have been of one cœur—
I cry to God, unyielding of his name.
Do not my hands untie, lest I recant—
for I am but a bird that cannot fly.
Do not relent, for I shall not repent;
my sweetest fame is written now on high.
You look upon my pure and martyred face,
that in the flame of love has found its grace.

Emily Isaacson

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Niagara Sonnet Twenty-Seven

There are black figs that grow from thistle’s brier,
pears ripen from ev’ry Calvary’s thorn,
there is a land called heav’n—it is the morn—
and it descends on us within our mire.
My pristine view could spy its pearlesque gate,
from place of inky darkness I would look
from page to page inside an aging book,
the twelve tall oaken wall clocks growing late.
We don’t aspire as children to be short,
nor looked upon with unrealistic eyes,
nor told our Saviour bleeds for us and cries,
not when the adults do console with port.
I thought I’d leave some burgundy for you,
or seltzer water with a lime ice cube. 

Emily Isaacson