by Naomi Long Madgett
I cannot swear with any certainty
That I will always feel as I do now,
Loving you with the same fierce ecstacy,
Needing the same your lips upon my brow.
Nor can I promise stars forever bright,
Or vow green leaves will never turn to gold.
I cannot see beyond this present night
To say what promises the dawn may hold.
And yet, I know my heart must follow you
High up to hilltops, low through vales of tears,
Through golden days and days of sombre hue.
And love will only deepen with the years,
Becoming sun and shadow, wind and rain,
Wine that grows mellow, bread that will sustain.
Published in A Rock Against the Wind: African-American Poems and Letters of Love and Passion, edited by Lindsay Patterson.
Excerpted from The Alchemist
by Paulo Coehlo
At that moment, it seemed to him that time stood still, and the Soul of the World surged within him. When he looked into her eyes, and saw that her lips were poised between a laugh and silence, he learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke - the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart.
It was Love. Something older than humanity, more ancient than the desert. Something that exerted the same force whenever two pairs of eyes met... It required no explanation, just as the universe needs none as it travels through endless time.
What he felt in that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in his life, and that, with no need for words, she recognized the same thing... And when two such people encounter each other, and their eyes meet, the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only.
Maktub; it is written.
These I Can Promise
I cannot promise you a life of sunshine;
I cannot promise riches, wealth, or gold;
I cannot promise you an easy pathway
That leads away from change or growing old.
But I can promise all my heart's devotion;
A smile to chase away your tears of sorrow;
A love that's ever true and ever growing;
A hand to hold in yours through each tomorrow.
My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a water'd shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these
Because my love is come to me.
Raise me a dais of silk and down;
Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me
Give all to love;
Obey thy heart;
Friends, kindred, days,
Plans, credit and the Muse,—
’T is a brave master;
Let it have scope:
Follow it utterly,
Hope beyond hope:
High and more high
It dives into noon,
With wing unspent,
But it is a god,
Knows its own path
And the outlets of the sky.
It was never for the mean;
It requireth courage stout.
Souls above doubt,
It will reward,—
They shall return
More than they were,
And ever ascending.