This poem is one of my favorite things I’ve ever written. It’s a perfect form Petrarchan sonnet, and a poem that was adapted into that form from free-verse after I realized I had written 15 lines in something approaching iambic pentameter and with a very obvious question/answer.
It was originally published in Riddled with Arrows issue 2.3, Objects and Artifacts, in November 2018.
No pointed hat nor sweeping robe required,
Nor lonely lamp-lit tower stabbing sky.
No pedant’s cant, archaic chant to ply,
Nor pestles filled with mortared coal expired.
The iron discipline of midnight fires
And winding dark roads walked alone, though, aye;
Unflinching yen to face the truth of why,
And burning will to manifest desires.
All I need for alchemy is my quill
And paper blank. I dip it in my vein
Of sorrow, let my sadness over-spill,
Transmuting into words my darkest pain.
A minor compensation for my ills,
To pages, not my soul, leave thusly stained.