John Close - poems read by John
that which we aspire to first (sonnet)

That which we aspire to first hurts us most
And so it was with you and I, and do
Not let me try to hush it now, the ghost
Was laid. Love settles, sure and steady, but seems true.

I etch a past that blacks out all the light
The present throws upon it, how much more
Can windows once so clean soak up the night
Where the approached transparency before?

Back came the ague; a fifth, a sixth entrust
And always axed when tall enough to see
The land that lies out of the fevered dust
That rises in our loves so endlessly.
And that which we aspire to always must
Hurt us the most, before it sets us free.

written September 1970

© John Close