by Lee Nash
'—as if one’s life, instead of giving movement to the body, were imprisoned undiminished within it, and beating and fluttering impotently to get out, at all the doors and windows.'
– Elizabeth Barrett Browning, from one of her letters to Robert Browning.
Likely I have lost my taste for sugar,
for sugar does not make the sour thing sweet
(as Nature does not make the wild thing neat).
True, its taste is best described as bitter,
masked with saffron, cinnamon and cloves, a
sherry wine infused with Spanish heat.
A mystery that common plants excrete
such substance! My life had lost its vigour –
now zest and vital currents run my veins
though I still weep saltwater from my eyes.
How fortunate, while London fog and rain
prevail, to keep my ready drops of praise,
to write with steady pulse and free of pain,
some say addicted though my heart denies.