Illustration by R. Crumb
We are all of us defined by need. The need for relief, for sustenance, for value, for love, needs so bountiful and plentiful that one could never catalog them all. There are as many needs as there are individuals to have need of them.
I need a job. I need to provide for my family. I need to feel worthwhile. I need for my time to have intrinsic value. I need for my words to carry weight with those who read them. I need to be needed, need to be loved. I need to create new things that did not exist before I turned my mind to them. I need to survive.
Artists, writers and poets have used the word need in regard to love since we began writing about it at all. When we are love, the object of our affection pulls us toward them like a planet, and we NEED to be with them, touch them, taste them, experience them.
A Secret Communication
among the cast-offs from the obscurity of ephemera,
my eyes and heart were drawn upward
by a smile, sailed upon the air, its fragrance
sustaining as steak and potatoes
How like a secret communication with angels
are stolen glances among daily chores,
the spirit in the air ready to catch spark
And there you are, my love, my beloved,
understanding my need, the sound of my weeping
reaching you on distant shores, giving
you the shadow of my sorrow where
you have sweetened my face with kisses.
You are my beloved.
Love’s delegate, as poets call it.
You are the cup of Beauty, who offers
her separation impelled by worldly intent,
leading my soul into the spiritual world
where it will be painted with glory.
I will sing the praise of the soul’s deed,
the charm of true love’s shelter from the world
watering paradise with our own tears, and toil,
the promise that came alive when we met
the fruit and succulence that I cannot live without.
In recalling the first kiss, the moment, the spark,
that first breathe of secret communion
only we can know, the breath of God
that turned clay into man.
Secrets that no tongue may reveal alone.
The paths we have walked, together,
my course or your course, but always ours,
hands joined, heads leaning in to conspiracy,
kept us hiding ourselves within ourselves.