You Can’t Copyright Love by Barrie Purnell


Why is it that I could copyright this
Relatively worthless poetry but it
Proved impossible to protect my love
For her from being plagiarised by some
More skillful but uncaring lover?

Was he in the shadows when we kissed,
Someone in hiding I might have missed?
Maybe her love wasn’t mine to hold
But she will always be there crouching
Low in the dark hallways of my mind.

I stand watching the breakers, my pride
Being slowly dissolved in the spindrift.
I walk away down a road paved with
Disintegrating dreams, fenced in by the
Uncaring rain which limits my horizon.

The dying notes of a lone gull’s cry
Lays bare the pain and woe of every
Hopeless lover. I had left her reluctantly
Shuffling with bloodied feet across
The broken glass of my honour.

My thoughts circle like eager vultures
Preying on my wretchedness at losing her.
The love that was stolen from me
Still runs through my every vein.
Her heartbeat still inhabits my shadow.

I did not have the guile to see her mind’s
Treason or the courage to taste the sweetness
Of her body. I look forward to the darkness
A blessing of the night, sleep the shortest road
To a more compassionate tomorrow.

Memories of her are now shallower
Than the truth but not as deeply inexact
As a lie. I trample streams of stale tears
Underfoot, they disappear without trace
Into the sterile dust of our history.

Why was I surprised to lose her? Theft is
The common fate of all things rare. The next
Time I won’t publish my love but hold it close.
You cannot copyright love or forgiveness,
The best you can do is copyright your own life.

About RETWORDs

A Place for Members to show work in progress and seek Constructive Criticism ... please.

One thought on “You Can’t Copyright Love by Barrie Purnell

  1. Hello Barry,

    Once again you have penned a very evocative expression of how a lost love can chain a person in a world of hurt. The narrators pain is very raw. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

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