Saturday, October 17, 2009

364. overseas

O Lucienne ...
if I had a pen
to thee, dear, I would render
intimations of a heart's surrender
in such a burning letter of love
that it would tear asunder
not only gods of thunder
but bring down cascading
a shower of honey sweets
from all the stars above.

O Lucienne ...
you remind me much of home
distressed am I that I must roam
so very sad I cannot spare
a moment here, a moment there
with you, sweet Lucienne!
Dear Lucienne, do you
think you might search out a pen
s'il tu plait; do you think
you might not think so much
of reason, even less of rhyme, reserve
for thinking less of our time?

Voila! N’est ce pas
la plume de ma tante
est sur la table.

Well, well, well ...
ma chere belle
hold up the discovered pen
in your pretty hand. Now
if you please. As if to tease
you respond, but I smile tightly
and send away the gawping maid.
Sprightly, now, you smile at me
sensing something
pensive, as if slightly afraid.
The clock ticks in the parlour
noisily: a bird, two birds,
outside in the sun-dappled garden
sing in the sick apple tree.

Alas, Lucienne
we now approach the end
of this our mutual fancy:
your high breasts and your sparkling eyes
could no more win me over
than my fierce bearing could for thee:
buried in hatred, a glancing intimacy
as noisily now comes Sergeant Clancy
his boots resounding by the door:
what chance there was exists no more.
Pick up that pen, Lucienne,
Vite, vite, vite, mam'selle, compris?
Sign over the deeds to the family farm
and by losing all, escape from harm.