Love and The Fall

Sometimes it seems like all we talk about on the topic of love is the fall. Throughout the history of the world, civilizations have literally risen - and later met their doom - because of the mad, desperate pursuit of falling in love. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that, for many of us, finding love is the sole - or at least the most driving - force in our lives.

We deify this process, holding love as our savior from all of the terrors of the world. This obsession is everywhere, it conditions and permeates our culture so completely that we barely even notice. We are dying to fall in love. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that for all of your life, "when[ever] you wish upon a star," you have been wishing for love.

If any of what I've said here makes sense to you or sounds true, I'm happy for that. I do feel that I have some very universal, human ideas to share. However, the whole truth is, I've really just been telling my own story. I can say that I believe these things so deeply because they are also my own path. And frankly, I am sick to death of it all. I am ready, beyond-ready, to evolve. As the great ecstatic poet Hafiz says, "I am tired of speaking sweetly" about love.

Falling in love is only half of the story. And what's more, spending our lives in constant pursuit of that particular type of fall - the fall that we want, the fall that we crave, the fall that feels good and communal and affirming - means that we are only living half-truths. And the love in our lives is going to respond to this by only meeting us halfway, by continually falling short of our expectations, by malnourishing our hungry hearts. This is another kind of fall, and in my very humble but ardent opinion, it is a fall that must happen - many times, for some of us - before we can begin to see love with clarity and maturity.

Before we can truly love, we must first have loved and fallen.

There is a poem in Thirsty Camel called "Sonnet-Sirenhorns." It tells this whole tale, the tale of a journey from illusion into a deeper, more evolved understanding of love. I'm very proud of these words and, no doubt, intimately connected to them in my own personal Path. Even the name "Sonnet-Sirenhorns" seems to speak my heart. It's the idea that love poems are beautiful, even necessary, but sometimes we get tired of the same old blaring message time and time again. Eventually, the time comes for us to shed the skin we've been living in, to grow into a new voice that speaks with lived wisdom and experience.

This is my attempt at saying something that you haven't heard before. These are the words of a Love Poet in Rebellion. This is my heart, worn-out from all of the sonnets I've written for all of these long years and ready to become something new. This is "Sonnet-Sirenhorns." Maybe you'll hear something that sounds true to you, too.




Sonnet - Sirenhorns


the time has come to speak of love

but if this moment has truly come

let us speak together of what is real

and position ourselves fast

with feet firmly planted

as shields which might stay

our illusions


too many poets

on too many days

unendingly wax their songs of love

like blaring sonnet-sirenhorns

they hope to convince us

that their longings can take shape

in our hearts –

what an intrusion! –

but when we look deeply

the wisest of us will find

that all the love-poet is seeking


is to fill his own void

with the crumpled pen-and-paper odes

of yesterday


how do i know that this is so?

because i myself

am the finest ode-maker

that i know



i lay down my quill and ink

and with them

all of the things i’ve been hoping

you’d hear me say


let us talk about the things that love

is not


love is not our ceaseless grasping:

the thousand wanting hands that spring

from our chests

this says far more about what we lack

than what we need


love is not projection

for we can spend a thousand lives

waiting for our lovers to be what we wish

and still have a thousand more

yet to wait


love is not the sugarcane trees

that bear fruit to sate a starving man

his hunger is for his own Self

and no kiss could ever hope

to fill his belly

with God


love is neither savior

nor destroyer

not a respite from ravage

nor an escape from

this world that terrifies us


you were born knowing

that love is simple

but to be free from all of your illusions

of love

you must first have loved

and fallen


© 2015 Brandon Thompson