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3 Poems: Replevin. Covenant. Trover

by Douglas Crase

Warning, these are beautiful and somewhat difficult poems, in the 17th century mode.


By Doug Crase.

If the beginning of love
Is loss, possessing it
In places where you know
It can be seen, then
The reason for love is
Retrieval, arranging it
To fit the space where
It always might have been.
If the manner of love
Is displaying it, faithful
As if belonging were,
Then the assumption of love
Is correcting it, rightful
Proportions rightfully
To restore. If the effect
Of love is regaining it,
In greetings as over
Distances overcome,
Then the source of love
Is remembering it, the
Illusion of love is
Reshaping it, and the life
Of love is embracing
Its perpetual
Unattainable selves.


By Doug Crase

To live with me and be
My love, proposing it
As if all the pleasures
Came to the same test,
Invites the love from living,
In for life, deposing it
With an innocent lively
Tension of intent. And
To live with me or be
My love, selecting it
As if without the other's
Commerce the one could live,
Secures the life from loving
In live death, protecting it
With a deadly living
Waste of discontent. But
To love with me and live
My love, engaging it
One from the other, neither
Leaving off, is to love
In the life of division
And live in loving it,
Where if loving only lives
It dies
But if living only will love
Then loving will live.


by Doug Crase

If the leaning of love
Is to learn, investing it
In acts that you intend
For their effect, then
The effort of love is
Example, addressing it
In practices
Exact to each respect.
If the method of love
Is rehearsing it, faithful
As if a performance were,
Then the tension of love
Is attending it, skillful
Ambitions skillfully
Played for more. If the motive
Of love's reproducing it
In habit come close as
Habit can ever come
Then the turn of love
Is resembling it, the
Trial of love is
Revealing it, and the fate
Of love is in facing
Its eventual
Duplicate done.

(From "The Revisionist," all first published in Poetry Northwest magazine, dates uncertain, probably early 80s. All rights reserved by the author c/o Writers' Reps, NY)

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