Count On What I Know

Reasons, questions, theories
or views, So varied, unknown,
yet plentiful. Countless ways
I love you because…
I’ve no explanation, or excuse.
Having parted with logic, forgot
all I have known, for this,
up to now, is different. New.
Wonderful. To that I remain;
conscious, concerned and
caught up in what once seemed
insane to believe. Or to trust.
To know I have been gifted
with this; something pure,
unfettered, unwilling to let go.
Provoked mainly by what is
now and here, as it was, or
as it is and shall be. Confusing
and heartfelt. Question posed
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning,
even Shakespeare before, and
countless brave bards I’ve since
come to ignore. There are many
reasons without rhyme. Poetry.
‘How do I love thee?’ A question.
Is any answer believable, clear,
or right? For I, in my wisdom
(or ignorance, as it may be), can
only count on what I know, not
what was once believed. When I
look or all I feel. An answer.
I love you because. . .
I remain and I am still learning.
All my days make a difference,
my mind forever turning.

© 2020 j.g. lewis

Sonnet 43

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

– Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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