Love is no abstraction

Jessie May Smart

The poem below was written shortly after midnight. I had just returned home from an evening spent with my good friend, the writer, Molly Rosenberg, herself an occasional contributor to these pages. Molly and I met in Peter Jones and dined in the Brasserie there before heading off to the Cadogan Hall to see Steeleye Span in concert. And what a wonderful performance it was: beautiful songs, beautifully sung and the musicians totally in command of their instruments. Notable in the band was the young violinist, Jessie May Smart who played with outstanding verve and expression, adding a rich harmonic layer to the music. At the end of the show, Molly and I, together with Janet – Jessie’s mother – had the pleasure of meeting the members of the band for a glass of wine, and the young violinist proved to be as charming as she is beautiful and talented. 

All this by way of explanation: having arrived home late, but not wishing to fail in my commitment to my daily blog, before turning in to my bed, I decided to write and post a new poem using an idea that I had been mulling over recently and no connection with the evening’s performance. Upon waking this morning, somewhat bleary-eyed and a little later than usual, I reread the poem and made a number of alterations. These impromptu poems I post are a work in progress, that’s all.


Love is no abstraction

Who is to say that the stars
             are abstractions because
they seem to be so far away ?
              Yet they are no more distant
than the light in your eyes
             they are there
in the effervescence of your smile

             there in every ginger step you take
along with every gasp of breath

We are pervaded by starlight
             we consume it night and day
in every possible shape and form
             and it is there
in the ardours of our love
             in the sparks of ignition
that fire our bodies
             and precipitate our kisses
There’s simply no escape from starlight
             simply nowhere to go
in the cosmos

              to get away from it

And so too to tender love !
             You talk of love
but love that’s not total
             is not love at all :
love is binary  – yes or no
              but never partial nor ever maybe
nor ever open to negotiation
              Love cannot lose an eye
or a limb and still be love –
             it is indivisible
it is whole
             or it is nothing at all
it is absolute or it is meaningless
              and it is what drives life forward
it is the human expression
             of sunlight
and in its absence
             lives wither and die
It certainly is no abstraction
             : look around


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