The Riches of Love

I wrote this poem in the lateΒ ’90s. It was published in The Collection of New Zealand Poetry & Prose, 2001. I originally called it “The Troubadour” because it felt more like a song than a poem to me. Then I realised that the song was being sung by a woman – and a female troubadour is called a trobairitz. That was far too obscure, so I changed the title to “The Riches of Love”.

My lover is poor
he pays me in kisses
I draw out my loving
from the bank of his soul
We lie upon rags
we make love in a desert
His whispers drip silver
his secrets spin gold.

My coffers are empty
But my heart has enough
To keep you forever
In the riches of love

My lover sings to me
he pays me in song
If this be the food of love
lover, play on
Drown me in music
for this is true worth:
As I die in your song
I inherit the earth.

My coffers are empty
But my heart has enough
To keep you forever
In the riches of love

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