Apr/May 2013 Poetry Special Feature

Two Word Poems

by Ray Templeton

Artwork by Clinton McKay

Artwork by Clinton McKay

The Composer Meets His Second Wife

At dinner, all that prattle: porticos and mullions,
vaults and columns. And he didn't mind.

It kept the conversation from his work.
But soon they begged to hear his latest,

so he took his silver watch out of his pocket,
called for silence round the table

and let them listen to its tick.
One looked askance, another scoffed,

but there was one whose eyes were wide—
not shocked, so much as mind changed,

switched on like a light-bulb. To catch him,
she'd make redder lips—bite, lick, bite and lick—

jangled bracelets, flaunted stockings, laughing
while she danced. But he was ready. It was time,

was written in the planets, so he took the bait,
was gathered in, touching seven sevens for luck.


London To Belfast

As a bird is, not bound to earth,
moon or planet—
skybound, your body rises,
presses back to vault ahead,
then shakes into a bracelet of pure sun,
into emptiness,
changing place so fast
I could never catch you.

It's your affair with time and distance,
and all that unruly weight,
all that solid mass, now gathered
into its own antithesis,
white cloud in vacant blue,
where movement is murmur—
where you sit motionless, uplifted and lost.


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