Poetry has long been the currency of love whether it be love lost, found, desired, feared, forbidden, or something in between. Therefore, in honor of Valentine’s Day the Stonecoast community wishes you a poetry filled holiday that is shared with friends and loved ones. We hope you enjoy this selection of poems and would love to hear some of your poetry in return in the comments below.
Valentine’s Day, 2012
by Alexandra Oliver
Because your bird has died, I’ll give you mine;
I never heard it sing. It’s grey of plume
But bright of eye. Its needs are quick and plain
It values an accomplice in the room.
I understand your orchid plant has gone
Take heart: I have a cabbage. Short on bloom
But big on taste (just add a Balkan wine)
It asks you not to ogle, but consume.
I see you have a broken violin.
But offer up my wooden ear. The gloom
Of missing music will not mean a thing
Right after me, my nail-on-blackboard hum.
I hear you wish you were a better man
The wilted, dead and broken have a name
But none applies to you. As right as rain
Unmended, getting better all the time.
Your One Too
by Mike Kimball
how it hits me
mcdonalds and walmart
after hearing a human bomb
has blown apart a market
and everyone in it, how
in this short life
this sudden life
this whole life long
and all through time,
You’re the one.
And what’s more
I’m your one too
Not a love poem
by Soyini Ayanna Forde
This is what it’s not about.
This is not about
the way you trudge out of bed at ungodly hours
life-infused Frankenstein, too tall; arms and legs
like Tolkien’s Ents, lumbering to the bathroom
where you always remember to put the seat back down. This is
not about how you said you could wine (but didn’t) and you learnt
about J’ouvert, third-eye aflutter so you saw beneath my paint and mud.
This is not about how you said you weren’t a smoker, but really
really you are one—
and when you told me how your mother died
lips tasting like cheap cigars and ‘dro—
how, when you curled your mouth
around the sadness, I felt sad too
but I didn’t want you to think I was pitying you.
This is not about your head beneath my fingertips
or your big-big feet
or your big-big hands
how they wrap around my own
your body enveloping mine, all fetal reabsorption-like
or a giant burrito, warm and delicious
making me feel tiny, which I almost never do these days.
This is not about how I wouldn’t mind if you loved me
if you wanted to go down that road again
even for a moment
barefoot, to feel the dust and fresh dirt between your toes.
I’d carry you if I could
me, my bad back, my heart an open birth canal
oozing, thumping, waiting for a bloody head to crown.
If This Were The Final Swim
by Bruce Pratt
If this were the final swim,
the last ever from the float to the rocks,
rippling the shadows of the praying birches,
the memory would anneal the fissures of my heart.
the black dog paddling ahead of you,
worrying up sand in the shallows.
the brown dog posed on the hill,
nosing the far mountains.
a frost-tinged alder leaf,
sailing the breeze-dimpled lake.
If this were the final swim,
I could die recalling the pattern of your
bathing suit and the curve of your body,
and marvel that you’ve yet to find any gray.
Where summer migrates before Labor Day,
and the northern night is the province of
the anxious loon and fire-eyed owl,
I will sleep entombed in this thought:
that the end of August, like a good story,
must always break your heart.
First appeared in Wild Goose Poetry Review 2006
Reprinted in the anthology Only Connect from Cinnamon Press Wales UK 2007
Remnants: A Poem
by Julie Scharf
I found your sock
Should I ask
I’ve known others
To break my heart
And at least lie,
Of tobacco, your hands
And this one
Piece of you,
My dreams, reasons
I am sleepless
I can’t even
Think of you
There was nothing
I could do
Now, this foot stench
You’ve forgotten it
In the meantime
What else can I do.
It has your faint smell
On the top of it.
A smell I came
To miss when
Now, I imagine
You sitting right there,
Moving forward—I keep
No precedence in your mind.
I’m nothing to you.
My love for you,
My words, “I want to spend
The rest of my life with you,”
by Jessica DeKoninck
I understand the magic of dead things,
the resurrection of mud into matter,
desiring, as I do, to recreate you from clay,
dry grass, beach glass and sand,
wood shavings, graphite, the earth
around your plain pine box. Anything,
to bring you back. Some seed
or pod. Some breeze to breathe
life into you.
I would sit beside you. Breathless,
we would drive away. In our silence
I might forget, Golem do not speak,
cannot differentiate the living
from the dead and out of ignorance
do harm. No one in this room
has risen from the dead. No one’s
kiss tastes of maggots and ash,
but nothing would stop me
from blending my mortar
of grief and desire to will
you here. I am ready to die.
I would follow you anywhere.
First appeared in the collection Repairs by Jessica DeKoninck, published by Finishing Line Press.
All poetry has been published with the consent of the authors.