• By Kevin Roberts

Mortiche



As the evening lights repine around me

And the willow weeps against the glass,

Soft my lover sleeps in bliss beside me,

Soft the hours, pensive, pass,

Mortiche, alas!


Amongst the cushions where you sleep,

Reclining, lost to distant dreams,

So far away you are, and deep,

And though my mouth would smile, it seems,

Mortiche, I weep.


You would not think it possible for man to tease

The outline of his darkest need, I know, and yet,

I have, and still cannot appease

My soul, his aching sin; I was beset

When we first met.


But now the silent weeks have flown,

The hours fled.

And all the dreams we dared to own

In our shared bed—

They have been said.


And here, to me, you lie so close—

All honey, spice and jessamine;

I can touch you in your dark repose

And know sweet breath upon my skin.

And still, Mortiche, you seem a sin.


So long I yearned to kiss your eyes;

In dreams their deepest depths I'd plumb

And drown beneath your pleasur'd sighs

Like lovers bathed in opium.

I fear'd the hour would never come.


But it was always this day.

And it was ever this hour.

And every soul, it seems, must Time obey,

Even you within your ghosted tower,

As every May forfeits its flower.


And now I watch you while you sleep,

Unknowing, as I dimly trace

The tears of helplessness I weep,

In outline o'er your classic face,

With tender grace.


For now, my love, our path is set.

Submit, I must, and bow to Fate,

And smile, and laugh, and thus forget,

And pray you not to wake too late.

Mortiche, I wait.


For recitations and discussion of Kevin Roberts' poetry, please click here.


Kevin Nicholas Roberts (1969-2008) was a poet, college English Professor, author, husband to Jan and father to his angel dog Buddy. Kevin had two books published in the United Kingdom: Fatal Women, a collection of poetry and Quest for the Beloved: Awaking Truth & Beauty through Mystical Poetry, a book of literary criticism and philosophical discussion. Kevin was the founder and first editor of the poetry journal, Romantics Quarterly.