Four Sonnets


Last week one student stood before our school
and told us all he's gay.  He stood before
the principal and teachers on a shore
where Grecian sailors built a horse to fool
the troops of Toy who used to ridicule
the Greeks.  The Trojans thought they should ignore
forbidden dreams like his, or could implore
the gods of Troy to keep out Greek misrule.

I'm jealous of his bravery a boy
of seventeen or eighteen doesn't fear
to tell the truth, while I, far older than
his father, fear the warriors of Troy
will rise up from their graves with sword and spear
if I admit out loud I dream of men.

The Closet Door

"Shut it, shut it quickly," THEY order me,
"and also lock it, lock the closet door,
then promptly throw away the key before
a shadow can escape, before he'll see
he's trapped inside tonight, no longer free
to enter dreams, to touch your bed, to pour
you cups of wine, to wander past the shore
where mermen swim, to plant another tree."   

"Stand straight," THEY yell, "and place your hands beside
your thighs, we'll wrap tight swaddling clothes around
your body and your head."  THEY whisper, "Good,
quite good," when they behold me mummified,
my legs, my hands, my mouth completely bound.
"You're perfect now, you look the way you should."   


The countdown begins: twelve, eleven, ten
I climb aboard the spaceship now nine, eight
without the need to make believe I'm straight,
I'm free to sit amidst courageous men
who've thrown away their masks.  I don't know when
we'll reach our destination, or what fate
awaits us once we cross our new world's gate,
or if there's water there or oxygen.

This is the maiden voyage   seven, six,
five to the distant star of Honesty
and to its planet, Truth.  Farewell, the sun
and moon; farewell, my former house of sticks
and straw on Earth; farewell, deception's sea;
farewell, my closet door four, three, two, one.


Along the shore, I built a little hut
in which my wife and I now live; I built
it from dried driftwood that I found, from silt,
from broken shells, from palm-fronds that I cut.                   
I hoped this shack would last a lifetime but
an earthquake has occurred at sea; through guilt,
through shame, strong underwater tremors tilt
tectonic plates and cause the truth to jut.

A tidal wave is coming to destroy
the flimsy hut I built; I'm helpless, though,
as helpless as a boy who cannot swim,
as helpless as a frightened teenage boy
who struggles hard against the undertow
yet dreams his closest friend is kissing him.

G. S. Crown

If you have any comments on these sonnets, 
G. S. Crown would be pleased to hear from you.