Heart’s desire

Gulácsy_Lajos_(1882-1932)_Paolo_and_Francesca_(1903)

When we get our heart’s desire,

The yearning stops, anticipation,

All we are left with is a hollow,

Aching and arid where once was fire.

Dreams go rusty in the rain,

And rain falls hard when dreams take flight.

The stars all fallen in the night,

Will never shine with borrowed light,

And all that’s left is gnawing pain.

Take these feathers plumed in sunglow,

Toss them in the rainbow winds,

Give me a scented dab of rose, love,

Hold me tight; don’t let me go.

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Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

26 thoughts on “Heart’s desire”

    1. Thank you! Yes, like the grass being greener on the other side, when we get what we want we often find that it wasn’t really such a big deal after all, and now there’s another dream to follow, even bigger and better…

  1. Jane, this is so true. I see this today more than ever, when we were younger if we wanted something we waited for ages, we searched, now it’s just too easy, there is no mystique in ‘wanting’ and either it’s too expensive and we’ll never get it, or we do, and it loses its worth. I like when we used to hold on to one pair of beloved shoes for years rather than switching seasonally (I don’t but you know what I mean)

    1. I know what you mean. In a larger sense though, it’s the aspirations we set ourselves, the goals we want to achieve, all those must have bucket lists without which we don’t feel we’re living. So much is attainable now if you have the money, and yet so many people are dissatisfied with the trip to Machu Pichu, the safari, Marrakesh, the new car/house/fancy breed of cat etc etc. Even, dare I say it, getting a book published if you’re a writer. You get there, and it’s a bit, so what? What’s next? I’m trying to cut down on all my dreams because they just don’t seem worth the angst.

      1. Exactly right. As you say, in a larger sense. The value is found at last after all the grand things, in soft reduction that’s where we find it, just as the stone we befriended as a child.

      2. We can be like those grappling hooks in a fairground machine. We get caught up in the fever of grabbing something that looks glittery and worth having, and if we ever do grapple it, it turns out to be cheap junk.

  2. I’ll speak of the poetics. The imagery you use is the essential part of this poem for me. You set a tone that obviously resonates with your readers. Whether the experience is yours or your Poetic Voice, it is phrased in true-sounding, non-belabored figurative language. Well written!

    1. Thank you, Charley! As you say, I don’t think it matters if the poem is ultra-personal or not, the essential is that is has some kind of universal truth that others can recognize. I’m very pleased you found it ‘true-sounding and non-belaboured’. Obscurity and smart writing doesn’t mean much to me as a reader.

  3. Lovely, Jane. I love these lines: “Take these feathers plumed in sunglow,

    Toss them in the rainbow winds,”

    I think you’re right about the aspirations, but it sounds it seems hopeful at the end. (Or maybe that’s just me.)

    Love the image, too. I need to think about the two of them. 🙂

    1. There’s a third option: not wanting to appropriate dreams, being content to understand, like doing a small bit towards protecting some wild place or endangered species without wanting to go and touch it or own one. It’s the confusing of ‘possessions’ with ‘happiness’. I’m still trying to work it out. Some people call it inner peace but that smacks too much of lethargy to me.

  4. This clearly strikes a chord with your readers. I gave up on heart’s desires long ago; I could never make them real. The doing, though…that’s what keeps us going I think. Specifics can always disappoint, but the process always gives me new places to go. (K)

    1. So much depends on what we think the heart desires. Sometimes we just go at a fad like a bull at a gate and it’s disappointing. It isn’t about owning things or even doing things, so much as getting satisfaction from a result. When you look at people’s holiday snaps, so many of them are just ‘us in front of x monument’ no emotion of indication of what it felt like, no moment captured. Just the proof that ‘we were there’. It isn’t enough. The tour party has to move on to get another shot of excitement.

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