poem poetry rain drops romantic romance dark unrequited love sensual

When the Tears Wrote: A Poem

Seek to love first rather than understand

For faith is a virtue your lover demands

Hurricane tides and nomadic dreams

Innumerable changes in fluctuating seas

Flowers sent first, prior to meeting

Hand held back, coy, her passions receding


Oh, but her youth, so brief and so tender

Like reckless and wilting roses you sent her

Maybe she’ll change? Maybe she’ll listen?

Could I be a god in her damn religion?

May I be Bonhoeffer when your Hitlers rise?

Could I be your Jesus or your Anti-Christ?


But this—this is poison, her potent hemlock

She’ll rest, peacefully, while I wrestle sleepwalk

Drug me tonight—again, again, and again

I’m spent on you; have no hope left to mend

Take all you will; I’m distant and drunken

I, Leaning Pisa; and you, Tower of London


Roses I’ve sent for various reasons

A poet’s regret is a literary artesian

And who am I to be sending her blossoms?

A ghost lingering ‘round her mind so colossal

Surely she knows that I am mere human?

Dead words on my page, while her body’s my music…


Why not take a chance? Why not share a moment?

Are you really so cold? and I, so fatefully boring?

Your beauty makes poems rain in my head

Floodwaters and rhymes have left me for dead

Should I charge you for murder on numerous counts?

Will you offer salvation? Grace—just an ounce?


Am I not worth saving, if only for rhymes?

For you, rewrite Shakespeare in four lovely lines

But you’re just a girl with a heart made of foam

Poets, like myself, your naiveté dethrones

So long brazen mistress; I’ve done what I could

I’ll rest my pen while tears write of you


Written by: Moses Y. Mikheyev


Dedicated to K.

6 thoughts on “When the Tears Wrote: A Poem

  1. Sweet line: “A poet’s regret is a literary artesian.” You’ve written a few poems and identify as a poet. Which ones do you like reading? I need to read more before I write; for now I am a poetaster.

    • I like Russian poetry. Vasiliy Zhukovsky is amazing, though his work isn’t available in English. Edgar Allen Poe is also one of my favorites. As you probably know, I like rhythm and rhyme. But, as with all things, you just write, edit, and hope your stuff gets better (which it does). There’s no substitute to writing your own. Sure you’ll write a bunch of horrible poetry, but at some point, out of 99 failures, you’ll produce at least one gem.

      I also would say that inspiration is overrated. Don’t sit around and wait for a muse. Best advice is just to write, muse or no muse.

  2. I wrote a lot of verse during my first semester at college. The closest I came to gems were individual lines, images, or rhythms. I decided to try a different method than mere writing.

    I find that I write better fresh from reading/hearing poetry because word-rhythms are already in my head. Memorizing is great too. Here at college, I find many ways to expose myself to good and bad poetry with almost weekly poetry readings, being an officer of a creative writing club (our motto is ‘stop whining, be a writer’), and an editor of a student literature magazine (which makes me a critic!). Christian Wiman came to campus this month. He translated some of Mandelstam’s poetry from Russian and headed Poetry Magazine for about 10 years. I guess we need more translators

    As much as it is true that there is no substitution for writing one’s own poems, there’s also no substitute for immersion into the language and tradition of poetry, not to say that’s what I am doing.

    Gerard Manley Hopkins is my favorite at the moment.

    • There’s certainly a need for “immersion,” or, to use a Kierkegaardian phrase, a “people bath.” We all need to “get out there” and get bathed in the “waters” of “other people.” I think the trouble is always maintaining and/or finding your own “unique” voice when it comes to writing poetry while being immersed in others. I will need to look at G. M. Hopkins when I have some time (any particular poem that is epic?). As you already know, I’ve mostly been reading scholarly literature for a very, very long time. And with the thesis that I am working on now, it’s basically getting even more academic. Which makes for very boring reading. But who knows? Maybe that’s also a good thing. I’m exposed to a lot of technical stuff and such; surely it’s shaping my brain into something better!
      I recommend keeping a journal. I have “Notes” on my iPhone and daily update it (most of my stuff is stored on iCloud). If I ever get a spark of inspiration, I write it down immediately. Being a poet is a full-time job. You always have to be on the lookout for cool rhymes even in the most mundane of tasks. Anyhow, that’s basically it: always be on the look out for something, have poetry in the back of your mind at all times, and jot notes throughout the day. Once you’re ready to write, look at your notes and begin shaping them into a poem…

  3. That’s great advice! In the past I have nestled such notes on whatever paper I had with me at the time, which is poor organization. Usually it’s just a line or a few words that fit and sound nice together eg. from today: cavernous and ravenous (in context of appetites). I should go buy a distinct journal.

    I think having a “unique voice” is a bit overrated. When one immerses himself in wide enough reading, there’s so much to take away in so many different ways. And if one’s conscious enough, he/she can better formulate a vision in view of past poets. Know the “conversation” as it were. The ideas of classical education and Western tradition really get pounded into me here! (and that’s good) Not everyone gets a good chance to encounter. Better to write than not.

    Concerning my man, Gerard, if you’re looking for ‘epic,’ “The Wreck of the Deutschland” is his longest and was his favorite at one point. It deals with theodicy, alluding to Job frequently. As for a shorter one, it’s hard to go wrong, but “Windhover”‘s nice. He wrote in Victorian era, was a Anglican-turn-Jesuit Oxford student of classics. He only became famous 30 years after his untimely death at 45. He’s not a good poet for romance as his themes center around religion and nature while going about it in a very sincere way. He loves to play with multiple-meaning and sound, which is why I like him so much.

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