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Poet's Corner

By Alex Williams


Human relationships can be beautiful and enriching, but they can also be fickle and treacherous. Too often, religious believers assume a relationship with God is somehow separate and apart from all the messiness and contradiction, all the love and loss, and joy and hurt of human relationships. In my experience, that sort of anodyne devotional relationship is very rarely the case, and almost by necessity if you believe in a personal God there's an element of turbulent romance involved, as explored in this spiky villanelle. (A villanelle is a specific type of poetic form characterized by its distinctive structure and repetition of certain lines. It consists of 19 lines, with five tercets (three-line stanzas) followed by a final quatrain (four-line stanza). The rhyme scheme of a villanelle is quite intricate, with the first and third lines of the poem repeating alternately as the last line of each tercet and forming the final two lines of the quatrain.)


For the Love of God


You loved me like a cobra from the start,

Coiling me within your dextrous tail;

Your devotion to another pierced my heart.


I was a fool to fall for Cupid’s dart

And love your wounds so deep, your skin so pale;

You loved me like a cobra from the start.


You loved me? No, you only loved in part.

For you such earthly passions quickly stale;

Your devotion to another pierced my heart.


I was seduced by your immortal art

Against such splendour I was doomed to fail;

You loved me like a cobra from the start.


I guess I put the horse before the cart.

You always saw me through a dreamer’s veil;

Your devotion to another pierced my heart.


I would have run a mile if I’d been smart,

The warning signs blew past me like a gale.

You loved me like a cobra from the start,

Your devotion to another pierced my heart.





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