"Over the past few weeks, I have received numerous requests to include more romantic poetry I have written over the years in my daily posts. Let me first say that I never wrote any romantic poetry before I met, fell in love with and married Sheila in November 2012. Since then I have penned many poems, largely inspired by my love of her; the first one I ever wrote which I include in my 'Thought for today'.
The first romantic poem I ever wrote was how Sheila and I 'might have felt' had neither of us looked back at each other as we parted after our first date, and had neither of us declared our love for the other in the weeks that followed that first meeting. The poem imagines that we each felt love for the other when we first met, but for various reasons, were too frightened/not bold enough to declare our love. Before we met, Sheila had acquired a photo image of me, which she had framed after we first parted. In the imagined poem, every day thereafter, we each went through our lives thinking about the love we lost and the soul mate we could have had. The conclusion of the poem imagines that though we missed our chance of sharing true love together in this life, should we happen to meet again in the next life, we would seize the opportunity with open arms and wouldn't let love pass us by again.
The actual circumstances behind our first meeting were as follows. I met Sheila for the first time in Haworth on a cold, December Wednesday afternoon. We parted a few hours later after we'd had lunch and a chat at Gascoignes' Restaurant on Main Street. At the point of parting, I didn't know if we'd meet again, but something inside me told me we would. I had fallen in love with Sheila within the space of a few hours of meeting her but didn't know it for certain at the time. I didn't know how Sheila felt about me; I just knew that this woman had awakened in me, feelings I thought had been forever put away.
I'd been badly hurt when my marriage had broken up a few years earlier; a marriage I'd been in for almost thirty years, and which produced two beautiful children. Our children had been to university and had left the family nest and settled into new lives. No longer in need of a large house, especially as my wife had just acquired a job at an Irish University in Belfast, led us to downsize from our family home and move into another house nearby.
My wife continued to work in Ireland and I started to live in our newly acquired property alone. My wife never did come to live there. I never knew that my marriage was over until the day my wife suddenly told me that she wanted our marriage to end. Not expecting the news, it hit me like a bombshell, stunned and shocked me to my roots. I cried for the next week and was very sad; all the more because there was no other party involved. My wife was/had always been/still is a good woman and loving mother to our children, and I still loved her. For her part, the marriage had simply run its course and she felt it was better to 'call it a day'.
From my viewpoint, the marriage had been good, and therefore, the sudden shock that my wife wanted it to end because it had 'run its course', without me having an inkling that the relationship was on its last legs, made me doubt my own judgement in other people. It also made me wary to ever trust or love another woman.
Shortly before Sheila and I married on my 70th birthday, I wrote my first romantic poem. The poem wasn't one based upon Sheila and myself 'getting together' and 'staying together', but instead, it was a poem about 'what might have been' had Sheila felt she loved me following our first date, but had let me walk away without ever having declared her love for me.
The poem is about two people who wanted to love again but were too fearful of finding love again and getting hurt again. They feel instant love for the other person on first meeting them, but do not declare their feelings. Instead they reluctantly part, and watch each other walk away. The poem imagines the woman regretting daily the man she foolishly let go, and in doing so, knowing that she let her best chance of love slip from her grasp. He too regrets never having 'followed through' with his feelings and the love and life they might have shared.The poem is entitled, 'The Greatest'.
'The Greatest' by William Forde: Copyright: 2012.
The greatest words I never heard were whispered down the wind.
On one dark sombre Wednesday night, my life came to an end.
‘Come back’ you whispered silently as I did walk away,
Half- broken, shattered, disillusioned;
melted heart at play.
The greatest thrill I never knew was just around the bend.
Faint-hearted lover look at me, I’ll be much more than your friend.
Why did you not profess your love, you can’t have understood,
Why did you cruelly smash my dreams when all I thought was good?
The greatest love of all my life forever shall be thee.
The biggest fool that ever lived thou knowest to be me.
The softest touch I never felt came from your warm embrace,
You kissed my image tenderly, you warmed my glassy face.
Your lips brushed mine so sweetly, though I never felt a thing
Your tears of loss ran down my cheeks and rested therewithin.
Trapped forever ‘neath the glass which captured this wry smile,
Unknown to me you swore your love and sighed alone awhile.
Had you but spoken sooner, it would have been okay,
The love that I expressed to you would never fade away.
Had you believed the best in me, if only you had said,
Together now we would be, forevermore instead.
Alone, we live our destiny, until the day we die,
We’ll stay apart, no more to kiss beneath the lover’s sky.
Until the green sod binds us close, once more beneath the ground
We’ll kiss; we’ll touch, and say so much, no more shall we need sound.
Copyright William Forde: December 2012.
Post of 30th November, 2017.