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Husband and Wife*

The grass was still wet in the shadows by the trees

The sun burned off fog but forgot these sentries

Fog wet not blasted by sun rays

Sentries guarding remains of night silk

Slowly losing to noonday heat

Elven lives blotted out

Firhar flies on gossamer wings of no return [elvish for “dark wisdom”; refined at later date]

Is raven’s “nevermore” the only call I hear?

Burned alive by the sun burned off fog

Flays the skin but lacks the heat of human relations

Nevermore to return to the shadows by the trees

*A result of the Sixth Annual Sandhill Writers Retreat at St. Leo University - muse: Michael Hettich; Hettich’s instructions were to copy down the first line (and pay attention to its cadence, which I didn't do), and then to write without stopping as he asked us to add particular ideas to our poems. Those ideas were to 1. use his first line; 2. add an old friend (for some reason I was thinking of LOTR; Firhar is elvish for “dark wisdom,” a name I chose later for it seems that here the tree elf / elves are part of a secret affair); 3. add a bird; 4. repeat a line (I did a partial repeat); 5. add a secret; and 6. add a title. I had no idea that my poem would be about the difficulties of the marriage relationship.

This poem was used during my presentation at the the July 2018 Phi Theta Kappa Regional Honors Conference, in a speech I gave titled "Creativity: Using the Subconscious."

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