Love Poems

The Once-Lost Land

The arm that threw the disc of day
   Across the sky we know must dim,
The hand that strewed the Milky Way
   Where angels swim,
From far beyond the farthest star,
Composed the darkness that we are.

His light it is that we call ours:
   The morning glories’ morning fades;
All shadows melt; the old grey hours
   Dissolve like shades,
By faint degrees and unaware,
Mere vapors on the fluttering air.

Like clouds that billow and decrease,
   False fancies fluff, hard cares deflate;
Grief irons out the wanton crease
   For small and great
Whose vaunting thoughts, that vainly climb
Ambition’s tow’r, are clipped by Time.

Yet we are summoned to arise,
   Called forth from clay and parchèd dust
To mount life’s brae and lift our eyes,
   And dare to trust
That all that is or was before
Shall grow our vines from more to more,

Shall grow, from more to more, our vines
   And round to ripeness rapture’s grape
Before the ruddled eve declines…
  God leaves agape
His garden door, that hand in hand
We enter in the once-lost land.

Winner of the 2020 Society of Classical Poets Competition (America's highest honor in classical verse), Joseph Charles MacKenzie is a traditional lyric poet of New Mexico. He is also the only American to have won the Scottish International Poetry Competition (see: Times Literary Supplement, Jan 27, 2017). A Pushcart Prize nominee, MacKenzie's verses have appeared in The New York Times, The Scotsman (Edinburgh), The Independent (London), The Telegraph (London), and many other venues. He wirtes primarily for Trinacria (New York) and the Society of Classical Poets (New York).


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