On Love, Greener Grass and Kahlil Gibran
When I was but young in my relationship – before times were twined with dark and light, hope and despair and words exchanged we both wished were taken back – when I was young, I read the poem below of On Love by Gibran when we were looking for Love poetry for our wedding day. I hoped what he said wasn’t true and turned my eyes from the page, looking instead for something more palatable for a wedding reading. Well, today I have come across it, at just such a moment when I have turned my heart towards my husband like the sun and moon turn towards one another to light each other up.
But first – here’s one I was inspired to write tonight…my own writing “on love”
Who knew what love would take?
What passionate promise made in Summer’s spin
would cost the two who put their two cents in… for love.
What bold rephrasing would be required?
And finding new language for old wounds retold.
What eating of words and bending of knee
and bowing of head in urgent prayer?
What begging jar the soul would hold extended
and wonder if it would be filled with the sound of a coin or nothing.
What empty ditch longing for the Winter rains to come would become
my arms when he was not in them anytime he should have been.
No matter who was right. or wrong or clear or unclear. or kind or not.
What is right? In the absence of his presence – there is no right.
Only wondering. Only losing and finding and losing and all too much justifying
for one small green planet called earth upon which my little yellow house sits
waiting for our footsteps upon her porch,
our laugh reaching up to the Autumn bough,
our cat upon her perch, our pillows piled up with no heads upon them –
what of that? If I, in some moment of fanciful feminism and rights and wrongs
and ideals and doings and blames and sorry songs,
did I steal away one night silently as I was taught to do in times of trouble.
I could flee, but already knowing there is no greener grass.
My husband is green grass. The greenest some have ever seen,
certainly, the greenest I have seen.
But it is not trimmed and edged and leaf-free.
He is a wild grass – relentless and long
growing free and wild and golden green
upon the hillside up above the river.
You are that green river reed, that you sing about
in songs of love and peace, war and revolution, God and godlessness.
I see you there upon the hill – pervasive and unable to be pulled up
or moved about or yanked or cut or culled – your seeds are far too many
now my love, for the hillside of our love to ever turn back from the
root of your commitment. Thank you
Waiting always patiently, even when there is urgency, for me
to come and sit beside your golden green dream and say
And mean it.
And take the time do dream it. With you.
For what else is there to do if two lovers love endlessly as we have?
What pursuit grander? What passion hotter? What water purer?
What grass greener?
Than love given and received?
Shared and understood between two human beings
given to one another to keep.
My lips unkissed would never let me forget
how you taste like first Spring. No. Even my mother told me so.
Husband of mine, upon your return home tonight
from field and hill and forest and dale and creek and sea,
You will find me. Yes. You will find me.
Both bare feet on porch. Not one set to run
at any unkind turn in any confusing road.
No. both bare feet will run their toes
through your long grass.
Come home now.
Come and see.
Who knew what love would take?
Who knew what love would give?
And how blessed we would be to partake?
Shiloh Sophia McCloud ©2009
15 yr. 1 month and 7 days of marriage
When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep,
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.
Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.
Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire,
that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.
All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart,
and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.
But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.
When you love you should not say,
‘God is in my heart,’ but rather,
‘I am in the heart of God.’
And think not you can direct the course of love,
for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.
Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night,
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.