Holding the Moment (a cento)

Little Birds are hiding,
where statues remember me youthful and blessed.
No birds. No blossoms on the dried flowers.
So, art thou feathered, art thou flown?

The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
has awaked in our hearts, my beloved, a grief that may not die.
When night comes on gently,
the larks like thunder rise and suthy round.

This entire poem uses lines from other poets.  However, I did replace Yeats’ “sadness” with “grief” in L6.
L1: Little Birds (Lewis Carroll)
L2: Summer Garden (Anna Akhmatova)
L3: I Don’t Remember The Word I Wished To Say (Osip Mandelstam)
L4: The Fledgling (Edna St. Vincent Millay)
L5: Sonnet 30 (Shakespeare)
L6: The White Birds (William Butler Yeats)
L7: Dream Variations (Langston Hughes)
L8: The Autumns Birds (John Clare)

Macbeth: Act 5; scene 5 ½ (a lost scene)

Macbeth is standing beside Lady Macbeth’s bier

Macbeth– How came we to this lowly state,
marred by jealousy and by hate?
So loathsome is this wicked strife
which robbed the breath of lady life.
If only I could turn back time
when nights were serene, and sublime.
Lord of that gent, I cannot be
and now I float in sordid sea.
At times it was a thankless treat
subsisting with this bitter Sweet,
For she ruled with an iron hand
which shook the waters and the land.
Although my dame was hot and strong
to me, her deeds could not be wrong.
Our love was ardent, rare, and true;
a kind those hags shall never brew.
This tribute that I grant her ghost,
my body cold can barely host.
By God’s grace she vacates this skin
to stand and answer for her sin.
Curses upon such endless shame
for which I alone bear the blame.

Enter an attendant

Attendant– I know that this most tragic loss
burdens you with a heavy cross.
But good Sir, you must come away.
Hasten thy heels without delay.

Macbeth– After I shroud her faded form,
I shall follow, to greet the storm.

Exit attendant
Macbeth covers Lady Macbeth with a shroud

Slumber soundly, fair dreaming dear
there is nothing for you to fear.

Exit Macbeth


This is one of my oldest creative works; I originally penned this when I was in high school some 15 years ago.   I dusted it off today and cleaned up the verse.  I would have been far too embarrassed to post the original.

Shakespeare never wrote a scene where the title character deals with his wife’s death. This is my version of what *could* have happened in the play. I would like to offer my sincerest apologies to the Bard for butchering his work.  Also, this is not in iambic pentameter.  Perhaps, one day it will be!