The first time I tried writing a sonnet to impress someone, I decided no man on earth was worth the hassle of making 1 of these things rhyme, much less 44 of them! So I quit right there and left the poor guy alone. (Let's see how far I get this time before I figure out he ain't worth it!)

After much contemplation, and frustration, I decided that anyone convicted of stalking or harassment ought to be sentenced to writing and speaking in 14-line rhyme schemes. What a challenging alternative to the traditional "restraining order"! How quickly we'd reduce the incidence of harassment and hate speech, while increasing the literacy rate!

And why stop with criminal cases? With all the paper wasted on civil litigation and legislation, how many trees would be saved if we required every lawyer, politician, and judge to issue lawsuits, bills, and bail bonds in the form of octets and sestets, abba-abba-bababa?

What a civilized society we would be!

Sonnet One (revised 2000)

Sweet Orpheus, send down your heav'nly tune
Once sung through tears for dear Eurydice,
Convincing Hades and Persephone
To free your bride. For love I would as soon
Renounce the stars to please the jealous moon!
I walk an endless desert through a sea
Of chaos, cleansing past impurity
That, left behind, would lead my Soul to ruin.
The ghosts of past and future I still wear,
Resurrected. How can I stand aloof
With songs and poems racing through the air
That send my heart and conscience through the roof,
A test of faith that Love is just and fair.
To win this war demands not faith, but proof.

Song Two Tree of Life Poem Songs Three & Four
True Love Song Ode to Shakespeare Songs 7 & 8

Sonnet One (first draft, early 90's)

I wonder how long Orpheus had to croon
For his deceased but dear Eurydice,
Beseeching Hades and Persephone
To win his bride, as courting you I soon
Found just as moot as howling at the moon!
I fought a spiritual mission through a sea
Of sweat and tears to make you fall for me.
I suffered only to be called a "loon" --
The shame of a "false prophet" I still wear.
I challenge you to try to stay aloof
When God sends your mind racing through the air.
(Or has your head already hit the roof?)
Guess now what drives me, faith that God is there?
To save the world demands not faith, but proof.

- "A Little Bit" Barrett Browning -

Tree of Life Poetry Circle
Houston Progressive Webzine
Editor: Emily Nghiem
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