Word Cloud: EVER-AFTER (Redux)

by NONA BLYTH CLOUD

Next week I’ll be back, hard at work, but my husband and I are on Part 36 of our Never-Ending Honeymoon for a few more days.

I leave for you two poems. I wrote the first poem about the red Chinese wedding clothes I wore for our nuptials. The second poem is Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116, which may be the greatest poem about True Love ever written.

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Red Silk

by Nona Blyth Cloud

 – for all the creators of beauty
whose names we will never know

You hang
in the hall closet of my childhood,
. . . talisman of awe and mystery,
Journey to China made only in dreams . . .
Because of you
. . . the other side of the world is real,
and maps
. . . are pictures of places people live.

How many tiny women
. . .threaded silk,
. . . . . . sewed tiny stitches,
made you beautiful
. . . . . . with flowers, birds, symbols?
How many days
. . . . . . working
. . . until you and the night and their fingers
. . . . . . became one darkness?
Were they old
. . . . . . with blurring vision,
. . . or needle-eyed apprentices?
How many lifetimes
. . . embroidered
. . . . . . into births, deaths, marriages?

Flower centers so intricate
. . . each stitch
. . . . . . a risk of blindness –
Our century
. . . . . . forbids it –
No more blind women
. . . no bound, crippled feet.

We have gained so much . . .
. . . . . . What have we lost?
. . . Too soon,
. . . . . . no red silk sails from China
. . . untouched by machine . . .

Flowers for beauty
. . . Phoenix for long life, good fortuneRed Silk
from five thousand years of women’s hands:
. . . Ancient witnesses to our altered ritual

The garments of my wedding day,
. . . borrowed from another time
. . . . . . and half a world away.

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Sonnet 116 –
Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no; it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

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But Shakespeare always works better out loud, so here is Patrick Stewart to speak it for you:

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Visuals

  • Embroidered Chinese red silk
  • Azure Starry Night Cracker Butterfly

Word Cloud photo by Larry Cloud

About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for the past 50 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband.
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