Quintessensual Uplift a Bit, Even Just a Little Bit

Today my first task,
after clambering out of my lonesome sack,
shaving - oh, guess i forgot that,
and dressing (it's cold today),
downing the morning's blue news,
with toast and jam and
the only thing my body ever really needs,
to wit, fresh ground coffee,
with real cream;
after all that,
the first task was
to answer correspondence,
some so sweet it took a while,
that was gladly given.

Then the second
was to review some poetry
i'd gathered for study and contemplation
for writing my own:
for holiday parties (i've been asked to write some),
for dear friends' coming
"celebration of mutual, unqualified appreciation, support, and commitment,"
that used to be called "a wedding,"
in case you doubt progress is possible.

Then came the third task,
after a short break for coffee with cream,
and the rainbows dancing around my sitting room
from the sunlight streaming in across the lake;
yes, the third task:
to review blathing since last night (my time);
and that was mostly sorrowful,
punctuated, i must say, with brief moments
of happy excitement and excited happiness,
as in watching a rose bud blossom
and participating just a bit;
but the sorrow got the better of me,
when, it seemed, barren accusations began to fly,
against no one particularly,
that we were being hurtful.

So i retreated;
but the sun had moved
and the rainbows danced away until tomorrow.

Then, recovered some,
thinking task four could be made five
for much later,
and four could be floated by the heart
to uplift this place blather;
it surely needed some,
some little something so good,
it would be hard to imagine it be true:

There it was,
poetry I'd just reviewed,
of that romance of Barrett and Browning,
after nearly 140 years,
of vulturous critics and historians,
always ready to rip fairy tales to shreds like baby rabbits,
nitpicking every nook and cranny,
still unsullied for sweetness, tenderness, unmitigated devotion,
beyond love and what most can even imagine love to be,
there it was,
a poem about that,

To share with everyone here,
to keep in mind, for a few days perhaps,
to take home for the holidays, as you do that,
to perhaps make a rainbow come back through your window
yet this afternoon,
or the sun pour through tomorrow morning
into wherever you may fall asleep tonight,
to uplift a bit, even just a little bit:

HOW do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, - I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! - and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
(Sonnet 53, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 1850)

Copr. 1999
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