This is a poem I wrote a few months back. It patters in anapests, and sermonizes a bit, but as I needed a bit of self-admonishing didacticism today, I thought I’d share it ’round.
Chase after delight ‘til the setting of sun:
You never shall catch it, for all that you run;
Your eyes seeking happiness day and all night
will only grow sore, for it flies far from sight.
But keep your eyes up and your hands stretched to help,
and seek truer joy in forgetting yourself.
Just as seeking your own good keeps happiness hence,
so you do yourself danger in building a fence.
There is no such thing as a love that plays safe,
only very complex forms of envy and hate –
though it tempts, you must not keep your breast-coffers shut;
there are worse fates than heartbreak, heartburning, heartcut.
It crumbles to dust when you keep it from day;
who would have a whole heart must hurl safety away.
No joy will lay siege to that dark citadel,
so cast off the armor that holds you in hell.
As ever, I am indebted to Lewis: There is no safe investment. …The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside of heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is hell.