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Word Gems 

exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity


Walter Benton

This Is My Beloved


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"You are the sky of my stars and the sleep of my dreams." Walter Benton 



excerpts, phrases, from This Is My Beloved
• love has your face and body
• our arms are empty of each other
• I watch the seasons go - with you ... It is strange, this my need of you. Yesterday I gathered seashells... but I had no one to show them to. And when I saw blue heron ... I cried ... "Lillian, look!"

Editor's note: Compare this to Elizabeth Barrett's comment to Robert, how even the beauty of nature loses its meaning without one's beloved.

• your eyes never opened after the last kiss
• the recorded orgasm of the saxophone
• when you wanted to hurry home and be loved to sleep
• Sunday morning... Love, not prayers, shall be our offering this day. We shall praise God with absolute embraces ... our bodies shall sing Him in His own incomparable tongue ... Prayer is humbleness, I cannot be humble with the wealth of you beside me
• and I was taking deep swollen kisses out of your brimming mouth
• and in the light I saw you, you were lovelier by many years since yesterday
• you wear my love, and all who see you say: how beautifully his love becomes her!
• and you, returning to me each morning "for one minute only," nakedly ... your mouth full of cool mint toothpaste kisses

Editor's note: "one minute only" - that's funny

• spring will be the hardest to forget, with lovers everywhere - love we made beside the river, lying in the grass ... how beautiful you were
• each time I know beauty, it shall be through you

Editor's note: as true lovers learn, this becomes more fact than poetry

• when a star falls I shall wish for you
• that the stars may say of us: the last time we saw of them was when they kissed
• a star breaks, arcs down the night - like God striking a match across the cathedral ceiling. Therefore I wish: see my lips move - making your name. It is so still, so still. I am sure that you must hear me
• everything I said was sweet and funny and everything you did was beautiful

Editor's note: LOL

• for your arms are my home - and my arms the circle you cannot leave, however far you go
• the seagulls ... cried me awake with their strangely anguished voices - like the voices of women being taken in love
• this morning I lay on the hillside and the sun was warm ... it was like lying naked under your naked kisses
• Look... the clouds shine - Darling, how did you do it? The wind is soft, the rain is beautiful - what did you do to the wind and the rain...
• your thighs will light my room with moonlight ... if only I could fit my life's time into these hours - that I might say: "I was with her from eight o'clock to twelve ... and years passed"!
• I waited today ... though I knew you could not come till night, I waited ... and nothing else in this God's hell meant anything
• I bought purple asters from a pushcart florist ... imagining your lovely face among them

Editor's note: This man is one of the world's great writers.

• I knew your eyes by heart after the very first reading ... remembering their elements in pearls and moonstones ... blindfolded, I could kiss a thousand mouths and know your lips
• What is it that happened? Now that you are gone ... you fill me with terrible wonder ... like the onset of madness
• What enslaving cocktail have I sucked from your full mouth ... to leave me so totally yours!
• I have looked upon you, too long ... and with so much love that strangers can see you in my face
• We need so little room ... on a single pillow ... as we move nearer heaven - until I burst inside you ... then we are quietly apart ... returning to this earth
• you walk proudly like a woman courted
• your slow involute hips cradle the eternal synonym for God

excerpts, phrases, from Benton's Never A Greater Need
• (written during WWII) I wish-thought this to you ... that each night's love you lay aside for my return ... for you are my anthem, and my flag, and my creed, my country ... and what is left of God
• and seeing yourself loved in my eyes and waited ... you strut like a favorite to wild applause, tempting me with the choicest blossoms of your most secluded garden
• the years have altered nothing ... dulled the senses nor discredited the magic
• I have ... [never] wakened to a brighter morning than this beside you
• we are like two vines curved to one another ... twined into one stem - too like and near to discern the changes of our growing
• love is a burden if you cannot give it, O hoarded love is heavy to bear
• you are the harbor of my voyage, the shore and the garden, you are the sky of my stars and the sleep of my dreams
• I shall measure off all that my arms encompass of you and it shall be my home
• tonight I think of you with great tenderness. My dear ... O My Lost! I sweep aside the rubble of our years to see you clear of their shadow
• we trespassed, field to field ... you ... glad of my arms each time a fence ... challenged us ... I ... always held you longer than it took to help you over




Editor's last word: