A Poetic Journey

The following poems are tied together by a common theme. They were taken from my book of poetry called What I Found in the Dark. But they also follow each other chronologically. Think of each of these poems being written by one man regarding the same woman. Watch the story develop. Get a sense of the love involved. And I hope that maybe, just maybe you will get a sense of what it was that he found in the dark.  – Clayton Clifford Bye, 05/02/2014 –

Age and Onyx

Near an ivy covered castle wall,
down among the leaves and dirt,
an old, black-stoned necklace lay.
Have you a story, my dear old friend,
of these many days passed by?
Does the fire of love live on?
Is her heart yet young enough to care,
and her hair still raven-dark?
Or have these years been too long,
my war making me a stone killer
on those plains so real and red,
that the heart, as the stone, lost—
left the lady to cry once again.


A question

You are beautiful;
I am no longer:
sleek angles, dark shine
to softness and gray.

The miles hide so much,
a gloss of bright words
drawing passion out
to become new love,

strong behind pictures
etched in minds by time—
childish hopes still held
against beating hearts.

When I step to you,
does the drum falter
as dreams are ended
by light on faces?

Or, perhaps, love lives
in a deeper place
where the wrath of time
falls on blinded eyes.

I hope in waiting,
warm thought and cold truth:
for that day to come
when you touch my skin.


The Reunion

You drew down the moon, but I didn’t see;
no Jim Stewart and Donna Reed are we.
Pain and love can blind the searching soul
from what might be a most fitting role.

Now, layered clothing keeps my embers low.
Was it on purpose? I’m sure I don’t know.

Yet nothing can hide the face or the eyes:
your calm exterior gives up its lies.
The pain of love suppressed is there,
eddied smoke those dark orbs do wear.

So, my passion still released strives for the smile—
a flash here, a moment there, makes all worthwhile.
For in the eyes your smile reflects
more than one such as I expects.

A day, then two, three and part of four,
our weekend ends on a marble floor.
You turn away to hide the tears,
walking forward through all the years.

Time, the beast, is now again,
set right with a flash of pain.
No looking back, no warm smile,
your shoulders braced all the while.

But we have our joy, the days we shared,
those secret moments our hearts were paired.


Don’t Be Sad

The crying beauty of the rose
always fades and dies;
so too the blush of youth.

Yet the searing passion we had
melts in deep comfort
to the full grace of love.


     Clayton Bye is a writer, editor and publisher. The author of 9 books and a varied collection of short stories, poems, articles and hundreds of reviews, he has also published (under the imprint Chase Enterprises Publishing) 3 award winning anthologies of excellent short stories by some great talents from around the world. The 1st book featured general fiction, the 2nd offering is horror and the 3rd is a book of detective short stories. His current releases are 2 children’s books and a memoir.
     Mr. Bye also offers a wide range of writing services, including small business management for writers.
     You may reach him at:
     1 (807) 466-7642
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17 thoughts on “A Poetic Journey

  1. Sharla

    Clayton, wonderful poetry so fitting to the month of February as the essence of love. Enjoyed the way the poems were connected that allowed visions throughout the progression, from the past, into the present and forward to the future. All is not lost in love. Even in the hours of darkness one finds inner peace within its grace and beauty, once young and vibrate forged with heartache and desire.

    1. Clayton Bye

      What’s so cool about this selection of poems is that I didn’t write them with the intention of fitting them together in such a progression. It happened naturally and over time.

      Thank you for commenting!

  2. Kenneth Weene

    Curious: Were they all about the same relationship or rather the maturing sense of love. I see four different women as I read the poems, but the one poet who is understanding the archetypical love in different ways.

    1. Clayton Bye

      Hi Ken,

      The poems were all about one woman but focused on different times during our lives and our relationship. What I think is most noticeable is the changes we both seemed to go through over a long period of time.

  3. Rosemary "Mamie" Adkins

    I have to agree with you Clayton and Martha. “Don’t Be Sad” spoke to me and it is my favorite. You do have a special way about you and a side I would bet most have not been lucky enough to know. How wonderful you have shared this side of yourself. Moving and powerful indeed. Few words spokes volumes. Your’e a wonderfully skilled author and thank you for sharing these poems.


  4. linniescorner

    Having observed enduring relationships, I find it fascinating to discover that not only does the tone of love change but the the depth of what evolves deepens with time. Your poetry reminds me of the fruit of the vine …a good wine ages gracefully and picks up dimension, intensity and character along the way. If we’re good at it, the sweetness of a well aged relationship will be the prize.

    1. Clayton Bye

      I think if one does not include changes in our lives and ourselves in the poetry we write, then we are missing wonderful opportunities to touch the readers and draw them in.

      Thank you for your comments,


  5. Clayton Bye

    Hi Anne,

    Most of the time the stuff just pops into my head, much like the way I write a story. I’ll start with the first line or two and an idea of where I’d like to go with the poem. Then rather than worrying about sentence length and the rhythms you can create within paragraphs, I pay attention to the number of syllables per line and how I can make a pattern with them while I tell my poetic story. The longer poems even have a beginning, a middle and an end. The biggest difference in poetry is the words you use to tell your story. Each one carries far more weight than the words found in short stories and especially in novels. I encourage you to try the form some day.



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