Eyes and heart

There is a deep, strong sweetness in a heart that’s open to all
A heart that loves without reserve, and sees no need for guile
Yet open hearts are easily hurt by those who mock and maul
Or batten on generosity that’s unpractised in tough denial
Until that deep, sweet openness is gone beyond recall
Leaving the sad heart frozen over, as eyes forget to smile

There is a deep, strong wisdom in eyes open to danger
Cautious from the memories of old wounds that have scarred
Like the restless sentinel stare of an always-watchful ranger
Aware of what might happen if she ever dropped her guard
Eyes that dare not look for kindness in the bright face of a stranger
Eyes that see so clearly, but, in fear, look far too hard

There is a middle way, I think, between suspicion and hoping
And that’s the path I seek to walk – with eyes and heart wide open


This sonnet takes as its starting point the ending words of Neil Gaiman’s amazing Graveyard Book.

“The midsummer sky was already beginning to lighten in the east. And that was the way that Bod began to walk, down the hill, towards the living people, and the city, and the dawn. There was a passport in his bag, money in his pocket. There was a smile dancing on his lips, although it was a wary smile, for the world is a bigger place than a little graveyard on a hill. And there would be dangers in it, and mysteries, new friends to make, old friends to rediscover. Mistakes to be made and many paths to be walked before he would, finally, return to the graveyard…. But between now and then, there was life, and Bod walked into it with his eyes, and his heart, wide open.”

I love these words – and indeed the whole book – and in reading the readwritepoem prompt to write a “bop” based on a refrain from another poem, I couldn’t resist making use of these lines. In the end it worked better as a normal sonnet rather than a bop, so maybe I’ll have a go at bopping later.


6 responses to “Eyes and heart

  1. I hope the middle way of your sonnet is always available to you. You have earned it, through your perseverance and your creative expression.

    I like how you used a narrative story as a springboard for your poem! I’ll bet you write a great bop, too, if you choose, since it’s sort of like the sonnet. And with your musical ability, you’ll make a nice refrain. Or choose one from the grab bag, :-).

  2. A beautiful sonnet! (I haven’t read this Gaiman and now, can’t resist!)

    Yes, you could bop. But the sonnet is good to you.

  3. Lovely. And I am currently listening to The Graveyard on audio. I don’t think I could ever pull off the sonnet. This reads so smoothly. Nothing seems forced. Well done.

  4. I like this. I really do. I’ve been meaning to delve into Gaiman, now you make me want to even more. I like your use of those lines from the book and the repetition.

  5. Yeah, I wasn’t quite sure how to sing this at first but I eventually got the tune, I’m giving it the harmonica treatment right now…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s