Jan/Feb 2013 Poetry Special Feature

Two Word Poems

by Ray Templeton


The music builds, makes
a space to step inside.
It traces three dimensions
where air can be displaced,
where feet move, and arms;
where fingers write clear lines,
mineral-hard, tangible as gold
if left untouched.

Why navigate when you can let
each strain and phrase lay down
new paths to travel?
The route's contoured like diorama,
visible if coloured dust were sprinkled,
the way an outline might appear
in a blizzard of goose feathers.

Accent, interval and counterpoint
shape space where melody
will ask an urgent question
only harmony can answer,
suspending the inevitable:
the affirmation
and consent,
a nod,
a yes.


The Adventure

You lost her when you lost yourself.
The talk was of release, but this
was more like escapology.
Simple disagreement—you thought
love, but she thought laughter.
The condition of consent, you said,
is acquiescence.

She walked away, and you should too
instead of trying navigate the way to find her
using someone else's map and compass—
surest plan for finding only dragons.

But you're still searching, undeterred
by quicksands, rapids, blizzards,
calling out a name that was hers long ago
but now belongs to someone else.
What did you find along that road?
There must have been some sight to stop for
in that pure, bleached, mineral landscape
with all the grime and grit of ages,
of stories much the same as yours.


Previous Piece Next Piece