Gwen Harwood Acrostic Sonnets
Eloisa to Abelard
Solace and hope depart. God’s finger traces
on fields of frozen darkness: You shall find
loss, absence, nothing. Walking on the wind
Our lord speaks to a crowd of foolish faces,
no face that is not mine, while filtering through
gaps, honeycombs of memory you seem
but the faint ghost of a remembered dream.
Unveiled by pain, I bleed. My wound is you.
Lost in the well of space, my spirit hears
“Lucis creator optime…” The choir
entreats God, out of tune. I join my voice
to theirs. Nightfall’s immense. I taste my tears.
I reap the harvest of my own desire.
No heart escapes the torment of its choice.
Abelard to Eloisa
Far above memory’s landscape let the fears
unlatched from thundering valleys of your mind
carry their lightning. Stare the sun up. Find
kinetic heat to scorch your mist of tears.
All that vision limned by night appears
loose in dismembering air: think yourself blind.
Louder than death in headlines the unkind
elements hawk my passion: stop your ears.
Deny me now. Be Doubting Thomas. Thrust
into my side the finger of your grief.
Tell me I am an apparition frayed
out of the tattered winding-sheet of lust.
Recall no ghost of love. Let no belief
summon me, fleshed and bleeding, from the shade.
Part of a great Australian tradition of literary hoax.