i The rose beds I recalled had gone - instead you could discern their remnant outlines, verdant and sad as unmarked graves. ii Not knowing what to do I rested here, among the bees and daisies woven in the grass; until the afternoon was long in tooth. iii Venus had veered south when I was roused, to find a figure standing by my side. She asked if I was ready? - Yes, I lied. iv We passed two gold snakes copulating in the dust and a solemn poet who transcribed their coded marks. v At the entrance we advanced - not down or up - to isolation cells, secular stations of the soul. vi Red buds amassed and gently bled, like bleeding hearts on arching stems: These, I was told were manifold regrets. vii Suffocating in a wave of flies and blue polluted skies, my strange companion assured me - smiling wryly - I'd survive. viii Guilt bloomed like a carcass in the sun, soft with decay not tenderness - a corruption of forgotten innocence. ix From love I come to love I go.. what did I do with it; where did I bury it? In the rose garden all secrets are safe. x My love is sweet as rowan berries after the first frost; but there is no way in or out, not until you believe in one.
Happy National Poetry Day 2021. This poem was originally published in Obsessed With Pipework, and it can be found in my first collection ‘Wish’. It was inspired by Dante Alighieri’s figure of Beatrice, and his work, ‘La Vita Nuova.’ Thanks for reading.