sonnets

Tristan's first collection of sonnets was published in 2015.

It can be purchased by clicking the link to the right.

Sample sonnets are posted below:

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Analogies of Love

 

It is like music: First, a tune (your own)

Is played and heard, in living – and seems sweet.

Its melody designs a marble throne

Which is not yet quite cold until you meet

Her.  Then, subito piano! You defer

And take note of a gentler, better haunt,

Immediately attractive: you prefer

Not what you hear, or see but what you don’t:

Your theme – yourself – she is quite Other, and

Her music shivers softly down your back:

Your throne becomes quite dull – you quickly stand

And know that all your notes without hers lack

True music – and that harmony doth dawn

When your two subjects join and you are born

 

 

It is like modern verse: at first it seems

Without cohesion and not sensible.

You cannot sense its reasons, rhymes or themes

Then, something clear, and yet intangible,

Arrests you – you are captive in its power

Your eye becomes accustomed to her lines

Your hand begins to trace her meanings. Hour

Passes hour – each minute brings its finds

Before you – not as criticism can

Illuminate Intention – but as yet

The Poem had herself – as God to Man

Revealed herself as Verse and Reader met

And grew to know each other int’mately

Still separate, but one, intellig’bly.

 

 

It is like nothing else that you will know

Or could – except you know it more than aught

Else that your sense or mind or language taught:

You feel it – it is both the greatest woe

And greater Joy – and both these feelings grow

So that you think the world will come to nought

Without it – that which can’t be caught

By tongue or measurement – by friend or foe:

For there is no distinction in this thing

Which is no thing and yet the heart of man

Which beats within his breast that he might live:

It is his life – without which no birds sing

And he is ghostly spirit-mind-flesh, wan.

For only in Love can he learn to give. 

 

 

Love’s University

 

Were there an university of Love,

Whose colleges each housed the qualities

Men have, to be transformed to those above

Those of mere mortals; what modest degrees

Would be awarded those who stay the course –

Who listen to the lectures from the vast

Host of alumni, who, in poesy pause

Their usual labour to give up the past,

The future and the present with their rhymes –

Made not for idle tongues whose fancies flee,

Down corridors built in the fickle times

Before the grander halls of poetry

Were carved to honour thee! Then I should go

And study there – that all, your name, might know.

 

 

On Love

 

What moves men most to action, if not love,

Which is no thing, yet everything and more?

Which, when possessed maketh the owner poor

But given, freely, maketh more like Jove

He who was lowly – but now soars above

What he imagined; and doth rage a war

Within his breast, twixt Feeling and the Law

Of natural reasoning, who e’er asks proof.

And yet there is no greater testament

To Her reality and noble sense

Than what is writ in all our poetry;

Whose words alone are not what lovers meant

Of love; which is more dangerous and intense;

But it is the desire to write for thee.

 

Constancy

 

Not until hell’s lake of fire doth freeze –

Long after I am buried in the ground,

Where still my spirit sings this lover’s sound,

That I will ever write – thy soul to please.

And even if the sun and moon both die,

Return our sphere to dust and without form

As was in the beginning: no calm storm

No paradox can shake my constancy.

Though Time may make to part us physically

(For half a time) Time’s wiser than to try

To break asunder this dear unity

Our love – Life’s Purpose answers all men’s ‘why?’

True love that makes for Helen’s jealousy

For no one wrote of fairer grace than thee.

 

 

Entropy

 

They say a blast began the universe,

And it expanded with a force so great,

Some say it was a blessing, some, a curse –

God or Selection did this world create.

But now the universe is running down.

Its love, it seems, is tired, and the spheres

Are to collide.  And shall we be full grown,

When we’re extinguished? It’s not so severe:

For Love explodes itself into my heart

With double power – pulling me to thee

Fiercer and faster than when we did start

Both slow and gentle ’cross Eternity.

With fire such as the summer could not last.

In Love, naught’s lost: all’s now, to come and past. 

 

 

The vaults of heaven

 

When I in silent wonder meditate

On all the majesty that I perceive:

The paradigm of Faith that we create

Between our spirits, which choose to believe;

What secret poetries I hear draw me

Up to the silky moons of paradise,

And down the darks dews of a silv’ry nave:

The great cathedral of Romance, which we

Have built together; where the holy spice –

The incense of our love – burns and doth save

Us from ourselves, alone, and turns all thoughts

To Joy – so that our hearts b’come heaven’s vaults.