Two Poems by Leo Aylen

A Pastiche of William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer fruit
Nature has blessed with colour, scent, and taste,
Which seem to bid each passing stranger ‘Loot
My beauty now, for later ’twill be waste’?

Shall I compare thee then to golden pear,
Whose beauty hath briefest perfection,
And once impaired hath no way to repair,
Meriting but foul-mouthed rejection.

Oh pare away thy peel of modesty.
Allow my lips to touch thy melting flesh.
Ripeness is not for all eternity.
We are but for one golden summer fresh.

Corruption creeps too near us. So prepare
To follow Love’s sweetest command… and pair.


A Pastiche of William Butler Yeats

Green fruiting nature is a paltry thing.
Leaves wither, fall, and rot to food for worms.
I’ll be no gardener, spread no muck. I’ll sing
Only of trees in rare Byzantine terms,
Whose fruit will be pure gold, fit for the king
Of a Platonic realm, whose councillors
Gather to praise his reign’s eternity
Untouched by nature’s rank impurity.

To my enamelled trees with fruit of gold
Will come the daughter of some prince of Spain
Caught in the timeless music of an old
Legendary mosaic stance. In vain
Will men plead blindly for her young, unsoiled,
Virginity. No one shall ever gain
Her for his sensual coupling, since, uncracked
By time, she is eternal artefact.




Leo Aylen was born in KwaZulu, South Africa. He has nine published poetry collections, the latest being The Day The Grass Came; five international prizes; 100 poems in anthologies; approx. 100 poems broadcast; performances in theatres, universities, and schools in Britain, North America, and Africa, including venues such as Albert Hall, St Paul’s Cathedral, Round House, New York night clubs, and to 4000 Zulus in an open-air amphitheatre. Recently poetry by Leo Aylen has been published in The Able MuseAmethyst ReviewGrand Little ThingsWestward QuarterlyThe Road Not TakenBetter than StarbucksScarlet Leaf Review, and Orchards Poetry Journal.