The Passion.

I don’t know why they call it ‘the passion?”

I don’t remember passion

Just a quickening of the heart

A sense of floating when he held my gaze

The sweet warmth of a sigh

Soft against my cheek


A sudden possession of knowledge

I couldn’t fully comprehend.

Your father’s voice speaking wisdom-

I connected with the voice

But not the words.

“What did he say?”

He tried so hard to impress upon me

Something important.

I understood that much.

Overwhelmed by his authority.

I see more clearly now

I feel as keenly the loss,

A raw, biting sense

Of incompleteness.

A part of the horizon


A half-told story.

As if someone had stolen a friendship

And hidden it deep in some hillside

And all my years spent searching

An unquenchable thirst, a creature without form

Smelling it, sensing its nearness.

Called to it, on the wind, in my dreams

Longing to give flesh to the bones.


But ‘passion’?

For me something far more tender.

I have tried to forget, numb the gnawing in my soul.

I know we hear the same music

And rise to the same sky

But I can’t find you.

I don’t know where the bodies are buried.

I would dig with my bare hands to ease this suffering

Nothing fills the space you left, it longs for fulfillment.

What did you see in me that scared you,

You looked in the mirror and saw? Yourself?

Perhaps this Passion they speak of,

Dormant, sleeping.

I walk the earth heavy with emptiness

And l consider this passion,

A bitter burden to have been given so young.

I hear you in birdsong, in salt cresting waves

I reach out to touch you in the hum of city traffic

Life pulsing all grimy and busy about me.

And in the cool, polished shade of village halls

I bow my head listening for your footfall.

The sheep calling their lambs away pity me as l pass

Cattle lying on spring grass lazily study my silent grief

Contemptuous of my calling, as l labour through thicket

Across the quiet woodlands along the path of deer and fox.

Standing on hillsides, staring down horizons

Wondering why you do not come.

Wondering how such passion

Can be redeemed, a thing so gentle, so meek

So long ago.

I have even forgotten you, sometimes

Until waking in some heat of memory, l almost find you.

I don’t know why they call it ‘the passion’

But l only look now for some redemption

To float once more in your gaze

And be lifted again.

© JL Brain 2017

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