An Essay on Love

“I viewed my fellow man not as a fallen angel,
but as a risen ape.”
Desmond Morris, The Naked Ape


This poem, not yet known, (I am not dead)
While waiting at the gate it shall be read,
Some might say he was a true romantic
Others yet, but still much too pedantic.
When critics interpret, they oft demean,
Though men of proper sense know how they lean;
When Darwin, Morris, Dawkins played the muse,
Critics arose in numbers to abuse.
While dreamers may in lines some wisdom find,
A jealous critic may betray in kind.
Where words of love uplift and bring great cheer,
A critic there, in smiles, will find a tear;
And yet, to please their loves might plagiarize
If not but for to moisten there her eyes.
Yet words I write are true, flow from the heart
That some embrace, and others tear apart.
The point is this, they are designed to move
Or to the chosen set, perhaps to woo.

Largely I wrote for love, I can’t deny
Whether to wrest a smile or wet an eye;
To spend a stormy night or win a heart,
My actions with sweet words may not comport.
Still love is love, its perfume much too strong
That all will know its essence before too long.
Though scent be pleasing, taste is bitter sweet –
What flavor this where joy and pain compete?
Yet tasted once, a soul is ever bound
To search those places where true love is found.
Yet what of love as such is ever true,
When but a painted smile can love imbue?
Where men may lose their hearts to beauty false,
And skanks enrich themselves in wedded waltz.
In darkness such black hearts oft do connive,
So devils yet can see through angels’ eyes.
Thus in pursuit of love all must beware,
True hearts can disappear into thin air,
And searching there til death for love that’s true
Tread on the very ground from which love grew.

Love is an essence not an object found
So turn eyes upward, not toward the ground;
Love is a substance riding on the wind,
A new beginning and yet still an end;
A sweet nepenthe that all lovers seek
That weaken the strong and strengthen yet the weak;
A sip once taken, sure to dull the mind,
Yet once quaffed deeply, there all truth to find;
What life worth living if not touched by love;
What prayers worth giving if no god above?
Nepenthe quaffed, another drunkard born;
But drink again, or ever live forlorn.

So what is love, if not then many things?
Sure not just feelings that a beauty brings.
To see another’s love is to behold
That in a lover’s eyes rare truth is told;
So love is blind does here the adage teach,
To other eyes, sight reason can’t impeach.
To qualify is not to raise a fault
For love is clearly not but a gestalt,
A multifaceted figment of the mind
Both truth and falsehood woven in design;
On surface seeming there two hearts to bring
Wedded in a bliss marked by a ring,
Examined by a more empirical brain
Ethereal purpose but to here arraign;
Not hearts to join, but that betwixt the thighs…
Dear god above! The puritan decries.
What god has joined let no man put asunder!
Still, Mendel in his garden made us wonder,
And while his thoughts were born of humble peas,
Proud Darwin’s thoughts grew ripe on stormy seas.


What now of love, this multi splendored dream,
Denounced; an evolutionary scheme.
To think of love as such, all lovers weep,
For what is left of love that lover’s keep?
New critics here will rise to trounce my words,
To geneticize sweet love is so absurd!
A bird displays his plumage, love to prove,
A man in sprightly dance his love to move;
Do actions such belie their purpose there?
Does man but breathe that he may move some air?
Do lovers then that meet on moonlit nights
Do such for pleasure, just for pure delight?
Love’s seeming thrust is but to choose a mate,
Is pleasure such contrived to procreate;
A lowly worm leaves others in his place
Though never having seen his lover’s face;
And what of love might yet a worm but know?
Perhaps all that which seven hearts bestow!

Yet what to love does cold clear science bring
Save alloys of pure gold form stronger rings.
To know that music has a pleasing sound
Why there unto acoustics, joy confound?
What science needed when just savoring food?
What genius needed to know what feels good?
So whether here by fate or by design,
Lift up a loving cup and drink the wine;
Whether created or just sparked from chance,
Why parse the music which now makes us dance?
And let us live in love, and love enthrall,
Seems that a fool in love’s no fool at all.

Yet if true love resides in puppet strings,
Then dim the light and let the show begin;
So with my arm in yours and yours in mine
We’ll play our love in puppets pantomime.
Yet if controlled, who pulls these slender lines?
It’s in our DNA, pure science chimes;
Your phenotype of worth is in a smile,
My phenotype of truth, why, naught but guile.
Our purpose but to mix our blessed genes,
Behavior such egged on by dopamines;
This simple dictum thus, I might believe
Til your sweet doubting tears fall on my sleeve.
If our sole role is but to procreate,
Then I should find love naked at the gate.
Why, no more flowers, sweets or pretty things,
Just doff the clothes and see what passion brings.
Love is not simple, this a fool can see,
(Though seeming so when you sit on my knee.)
Courtship evolved much like a stately dance
Clouded by emotion often called romance.
And what of romance must we then construe?
Save how to choose the genes that say I do.
Our strategy is different, this is clear
Men prompt with might, women with smiles and tears.
With pressure firm, yes men will oft annoy
While women wax demure, and here play coy;
And when he says why not, she says not now,
To this, the gallant smiles and takes a bow,
To pressure much will make too soon, too late;
Hold adrenaline, the dopamine can wait.
Though men engage shrewd schemes, their love to woo,
Despite their wit and wile, women still choose;
And man, the knave, to gain his lustful wish,
May stoop to force, and plumb that black abyss.


And so a game is played with rules scarce known,
Where goals obscured, each lover makes his own;
That love is but a game most will confess,
Where men are playing checkers, women chess;
What puppeteer would tangle strings but so,
And what of pure eugenics does love know?
Did Darwin pen ‘The Origin’, truth to see
Then wed his cousin but for irony?
The strategy of sexes is not the same
Yet how do different rules fair win a game?
To consummate the act, of this men dream;
To incarcerate the actor, women scheme.
Yet oft two hearts align, and so loves goes,
Until the machinations of love shows.
With pointed lies oft mighty hearts are bled;
Still marriage conflicts are best solved in bed.
While love may wane, it often waxes too,
And like a hormone river, love wends through.
Yet though sweet smiles of love flash compromise,
I see the serotonin in your eyes.
Today a soft meek kitten in my arms,
The next, a vengeful tiger bent on harm.
Yes love’s a chemical river, this I’ve found,
Where women float and men are left to drown;
But swim they must or their sweet genes will die
And if they sink … she will a minute cry.

Yes sexes differ this you’re often told
Women meek and mild, men so bold.
Yet chance divorce and see what fate shall bring
The meek and mild morphose to evil things.
Where kisses sweet and warm soft arms embrace
Resides a demon fanged, swinging a mace.
While deep in love prevailing rules enthrall;
When women rage, there are no rules at all.
While men of war unto convention stand,
Women at war use everything at hand.
Now comes the judge in black, all truth to hear;
Women supplicate, drown truth in tears.
Where judges must but show their human side,
They tip the scale, if not to stem the tide.
What is the harm to aid the weaker sex?
Say that to him with kitten heel on his neck.
Yet men in truth, no monopoly do find,
Though largely they leave victimhood behind.
Where genes perhaps select for greater strength,
Seems tears cannot there flow for greater length;
But to the sex to whom great strength’s denied,
Purposed manipulation there resides;
Just ask a queen who sits beside a throne,
Is to the king each clever thought his own?
The ‘weaker sex’ is but a crafty ruse
As ‘marriage knot’ is but a cunning noose.
So say a prayer and lift that loving cup,
For you were dead before you drank a drop.


But I digress, it’s in the wicked genes,
No sense the one or other to demean.
We are all equal, this is often said,
Yet sexes differ much, as sperm and egg.
Still saying so would clearly offend those
Who cannot see the emperor has no clothes.
Evolution, expecting perhaps this rift
Give women an extra X, much as a gift,
Women, not wanting ever to be bought,
Deactivate this extra X they got,
Bemoaning that they never got a Y,
Leaves there the sagest muse to wonder why.
Naturally selected so, or god ordained,
Tis still a slight that brings us endless pain.
So where in X and Y does love reside,
And by what gene based rules do we abide?
Poets believe that love occurs on sight
But science says it’s but a hormone blight.
Where art and science ever do collide
Societal beliefs will often sway the tide.
A dress once long, is clearly now too short;
With which new credo must we now comport?
Convention shifts like shadows in the mind,
Where principles are born, and slayed in kind.
What once was weak is now forever strong,
What once was right is now forever wrong.
Where men make rules, ‘science’ knows no sin,
For what is truth, pure numbers in the end.

But what of love when I bestow a flower
Unto the sweetest maiden of the hour?
And I then sit her down right next to me,
Anticipating soon sweet ecstasy.
Does oxytocin tell there when to kiss,
Do hormones make her dream of wedded bliss?
Does serotonin place her hand in mine
Does dopamine released sweet love enshrine?
Still what the action if I love forsake
And to my bed another beauty take?
Am I a reprobate there doomed to shame,
Or yet, perhaps, the winner of the game!
To win or lose depends on point of view,
He is a scallywag; she but a shrew.
A man with many lovers is adored,
A woman with such numbers is a whore.
What of this paradox does science make
Where few defend a woman who is a rake?
While men can father many in a run
A woman births but rarely more than one.
While women know for sure which child is theirs,
The husband oft to features does compare;
And women may but say ‘this child is thine’
Men will often think, is this child mine?
Then look in eyes where little truth is told,
And wonder that he lives a duped cuckold;
Yes, so the crooked story of love wends;
Stern genes are truly selfish in the end.
While in the scope of love, a child’s a child –
Self serving genes live not to be beguiled.
No greater fury hath a woman scorned,
No greater anger, he a cuckold turned.
So as he lies with her, she lies with him,
And lies with lies beget this sad chagrin.
Man is a child, in love content to play,
But to his mate, resources win the day.

Still when love’s true, it is a wondrous state
Where man and woman do for life there mate;
Love is a feeling, not just numbers cold,
Locked in true love, some lovers do grow old;
And in the setting sun they do hold hands
Respecting each as woman and as man,
This is the grail we seek in wedded bliss
Where love is trust we seal with but a kiss.


So what is love, an essence or a strand?
A mere reaction or a god’s command?
A chemical reduction pre-ordained
Or ethereal substance floating on the wind?
If all or neither, here the thoughts arise,
What visions true are seen in lovers’ eyes?
What can be know of that not yet discerned
What can be taught from that not yet fair learned?
Still why to question that which clearly is
Save ‘neath the phentotype, odd genes may live.
Thus with true love, in nuptials may be found,
Sworn pact to death, that rare outlasts the gown.
Perhaps there is a method in mad means
And what we do, contrived by selfish genes.
What benefit to genes to mate for life
When promiscuity great numbers cite?
This impetus to men for wondering eyes
Gives women there the looseness in their thighs.
Still how in lust can but these genes delight,
And what do genes yet know of wrong or right?
Yet right or wrong, betwixt, all men are torn,
Perhaps all maids are naught but strumpets born.
To wed a virgin, still most men do strive,
Where virgins, much like cats, have many lives.
But here we can again these genes berate
For theirs is but to live and procreate.
They are the strings that move the wandering eyes
And so when pulled, do separate the thighs.
Here love and lust this story does demean
Children of god reduced to sex machines.
Yet what deemed right is proof of god within
And what deemed wrong, clear sign of wicked sin.

Were nucleotides capable of pure thought,
Perhaps in this, a better plan were wrought;
But genes cannot yet think, just multiply,
Rise, seek, engage, then copulate and die.
No pleasure greater than a love that’s won,
No sorrow deeper than when love meets scorn.
Still win or lose, stern genes no injury take,
And lose or win seek yet another mate.
To replicate one’s self without a thought
Is often felt to be the rude man’s plot,
Yet further checked with greater scrutiny,
Is closest yet to what the genes decree;

And where for man, they scribe a simple plan,
For women, one no sage can understand.
No doubt it’s written somewhere on the X
Which randomly deleted, blurs the text.
While random seems the process of their minds,
Here scrutiny reveals a shrewd design.
The weaker sex with smiles but to way lay,
With actions aping predator and prey.
Still men have Xs too, to be complete,
But not the type to randomly delete.
Perhaps it’s why men are less prone to cry –
A constant X and stabilizing Y.
Yet speak such wisdom to a woman sure,
Tis highly likely she will not concur.
Denouncing loudly there such truth to hear,
Or aquiese beneath soft veil of tears;
And where of wisdom are our genes concerned
When who shall cry depends on who is spurned.


Still love’s a force no lover can deny
Whether a sparkle or tear in someone’s eye.
While oft tis said that opposites attract,
Where all seems equal, still we there detract.
We love at sight, yet love seems ever blind
And what we shun, some others will enshrine.
Where is the sense when she of average state
Can cause a mighty king to abdicate?
What of this love that can so mesmerize
That some embrace, while others criticize.
Some with a face, a thousand ships leave dock,
Still others yet with one that stops a clock.
Yet beautiful or vile, each of its kind,
For all along this spectrum love will find.
Idioms notwithstanding, here’s the rule,
Fair beauty is but truth, where truth’s a fool.
That men will die, for love remains quite clear
Does this to Darwin’s dictums still adhere?
Where love is but a lurid numbers game,
Would dying such not Darwin’s wit defame?
If genes do rule, why die for love not won;
Seems better there to fornicate and run.
Natural selection does sweet love confuse
Who wins by heart, may with the loins still lose.
Yes she who scorns a man and lives alone,
Forever to oblivion must atone.

The cuckoo bird high on the elder tree,
Where eggs be two, she gladly makes them three.
Yet what of love does this poor cuckoo know,
Save that which slender spiral strands bestow;
But did she love, or did she merely mate?
What part of love does she then abrogate?
The cuckoo is not crazed, she is quite sane,
And knows love by a number, not a name.
While humans find her actions still quite cold,
Men fear the cuckoo’s song, if truth be told.
Where great investment’s spent to raise a child,
Tis misadventure grave to be beguiled.
What part of love is but genetic will;
Do victor lions mourn the cubs they kill?


But love’s a feeling that springs from the heart,
Says every lover not yet torn apart.
Love is a passion that shall know no bounds,
That ever lives and every soul astounds.
It is a rainbow that there bends on high,
A silver glint within a lover’s eye;
It is the sun, the moon, the sky above –
What reason then to live if not for love?
A promise made to which true hearts abide,
As pure as snow and constant as the tides.
Born of the cosmos and in Eros wrought,
No greater gift could any god have brought.
Yet if not given, here the thought remains,
At least to some, quite clearly god ordained.
A glory great that made the ages wonder;
A myth of truth that Darwin cleft asunder.

So what is love snared in these twisted strands,
A chain reaction or a feeling grand?
Celestial magic from a silver moon
Or primordial soup stirred yet without a spoon?
A gift from gods, or by pure chance defiled,
Pure accident, or by some logic styled.
Yet to the lover, little conflict reigns –
Does love reside in hearts, or in our brains?
Is love god given or a pitch and toss?
The answer there contrived in win or loss.
For those in love it is a wonderous game
Replete with glory great and piercing pain,
Yet play we must as puppets on taut strings,
For in love’s dance, we little care who sings.

© Loubert S Suddaby. All Rights Reserved.

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