Robert Browning

 

A LIGHT WOMAN

I.

So far as our story approaches the end,
Which do you pity the most of us three?—
My friend, or the mistress of my friend
With her wanton eyes, or me?

II.

My friend was already too good to lose,
And seemed in the way of improvement yet,
When she crossed his path with her hunting-noose
And over him drew her net.

III.

When I saw him tangled in her toils,
A shame, said I, if she adds just him
To her nine-and-ninety other spoils,
The hundredth for a whim!

IV.

And before my friend be wholly hers,
How easy to prove to him, I said,
An eagle’s the game her pride prefers,
Though she snaps at a wren instead!

V.

So, I gave her eyes my own eyes to take,
My hand sought hers as in earnest need,
And round she turned for my noble sake,
And gave me herself indeed.

VI.

The eagle am I, with my fame in the world,
The wren is he, with his maiden face.
—You look away and your lip is curled?
Patience, a moment’s space!

VII.

For see, my friend goes shaling and white;
He eyes me as the basilisk:
I have turned, it appears, his day to night,
Eclipsing his sun’s disk.

VIII.

And I did it, he thinks, as a very thief:
“Though I love her—that, he comprehends—
“One should master one’s passions, (love, in chief)
“And be loyal to one’s friends!”

IX.

And she,—she lies in my hand as tame
As a pear late basking over a wall;
Just a touch to try and off it came;
‘Tis mine,—can I let it fall?

X.

With no mind to eat it, that’s the worst!
Were it thrown in the road, would the case assist?
‘Twas quenching a dozen blue-flies’ thirst
When I gave its stalk a twist.

XI.

And I,—what I seem to my friend, you see:
What I soon shall seem to his love, you guess:
What I seem to myself, do you ask of me?
No hero, I confess.

XII.

‘Tis an awkward thing to play with souls,
And matter enough to save one’s own:
Yet think of my friend, and the burning coals
He played with for bits of stone!

XIII.

One likes to show the truth for the truth;
That the woman was light is very true:
But suppose she says,—Never mind that youth!
What wrong have I done to you?

XIV.

Well, any how, here the story stays,
So far at least as I understand;
And, Robert Browning, you writer of plays,
Here’s a subject made to your hand!

Robert Browning

Stephen John Kalinich

 

 

(Photo by L. K. Thayer)

In one of my stories
the disciple says to the Master Poet
What must one do to become  a true master?
Master says you have learned the words
and image the rhythms
and the colors are you second nature
your brush your emotional tones
are forming brilliantly
but you must do one thing
above all else.
What is that? said the Student
The master said,

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“you must learn the silence.”

Stephen John Kalinich

Painting by Stephen John Kalinich

 

 

“Laughter” by Stephen John Kalinich

Laughter is an unwritten poem
A child’s first touch of joy.
A smile within a wounded world.
Certainly the world has grown too serious
We need laughter
to bring us
closer to each other.
Laughter as a voice against our sorrow
Laughter as a voice against our heartache
Laughter as a voice of hope
That carries us into other hearts.
Laughter as the appreciation
of simple childhood days
When all the earth
lay before us
Like an open road
Echoes of laughter
From the winter’s wind
of our youth
We need laughter in our world
If we are to survive.

Stephen John Kalinich

“Our Gang” Artwork

L. K. Thayer’s Foto Fetish

© 2010

“Burning Fruit, Man On Top, Aching Sun” by L. K. Thayer

 

Burning fruit, man on top, aching sun
Dark aroma of  bittersweet, crash of sea and stars
What magic do you hold inside your timber?
What amorous light surrounds me with your glance?
Oh, infatuation is a tunnel of twists and turns
Through smothering vapors, cutting switches for foreplay
Love is a mischievous temptress
And two bodies on fire with a sulfur spark
Kissing and licking I devour your beast
Your stanzas, your sea foam, your effervescence
And pulsating poetry, throbbing with wit and flair
Caressing my thighs, warming my fire place
You harden at the sight of my name
We ponder into infinity

L. K. Thayer’s Foto Fetish

© 2010