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Poetry for Valentine's Day & Every Day

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by aftershocks, Feb 12, 2017.

  1. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    I found some lovely poems to give as gifts for that special someone, or to simply share with friends & loved ones:

    when angels speak of love
    they tell us
    all is union and reunion
    dying reborn again
    there is no separation
    no end to paradise
    we are always present
    the ecstatic moving us
    along each current
    each wilderness of spirit
    a dedicated path
    -- bell hooks, When Angles Speak of Love (2007)

    [The following make me think of of a prince & his lady ;) (all from bell hooks: When Angels Speak of Love)]

    and how
    she adores me
    precious precious
    sweet sweet
    all favorite things
    flesh that is my flesh
    bone that is my bone
    and we always be one
    even at the moment
    of heartbreak
    surrender and separation
    we know
    times come again
    eternal abiding love
    another chance
    she promises me
    another chance

    in him
    my twin likeness
    all flesh a mirror
    all traces
    seeds pressed
    in flower beds
    a diary of enchantment
    his hands hold mine
    keep me standing firm
    ground my heart
    the angel eye of love
    stands guard
    protects our union
    we are too much one
    too much each other

    hold on
    take my hand
    let go
    on the ride
    race you down
    hill up hill
    dust on dirt road
    let me follow you
    in love
    there is no end
    we are glory
    in nature
    a paradise surrounds us
    wild tenderness
    take hold
    loose and let
    our spirits soar

    how hard
    and sweet
    this taste of flesh
    seductive trace
    tenderly taken love
    the snake
    the palace of bliss
    to enter
    there is only
    one open door

    let me be
    a witness to love
    stand on the outside
    and see tenderness
    kind words
    and a lover's sweet touch
    let me be
    a witness to love
    see each sacrifice surrendered
    how patient and joined
    such open heart
    let me see and then believe

    should not come
    in such a way
    i cannot know
    the heart's yearning
    i dreamed a prince
    a frog destiny
    everything alchemically
    into pure gold
    should not defy desire
    make me over
    make me ready
    kill the illusion
    let truth submit
    and every sacred vow
    hold fast

    a heady heavy love
    speaks my yearning
    calls me
    to give my all
    and seek the place
    of no return
    to lay bare my heart
    for you
    to whom i surrender
    to you
    for whom i wait
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017
  2. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    Love comes in many forms, as expressed by Mary Oliver in Blue Horses (2014)

    I Woke

    I woke
    and crept
    like a cat

    on silent feet
    about my own house--
    to look

    at you
    while you were sleeping,
    your hair

    sprayed on the pillow,
    your eyes

    your body
    safe and solitary,
    and my doors

    shut for your safety
    and your comfort,
    I did this

    thinking I was intruding,
    yet wanting to see
    the most beautiful thing

    that has ever been in my house.

    What Gorgeous Thing

    I do not know what gorgeous thing
    the bluebird keeps saying,
    his voice easing out of his throat,
    beak, body into the pink air
    of the early morning. I like it
    whatever it is. Sometimes
    it seems the only thing in the world
    that is without dark thoughts.
    Sometimes it seems the only thing
    in the world that is without
    questions that can't and probably
    never will be answered, the
    only thing that is entirely content
    with the pink, then clear white
    morning and, gratefully, says so.

    Franz Marc's Blue Horses
    http://www.artneedlepoint.com/images/74 franz marc.jpg

    I step into the painting of the four blue horses.
    I am not even surprised that I can do this.

    One of the horses walks toward me.
    His blue nose noses me lightly. I put my arm
    over his blue mane, not holding on, just
    He allows me my pleasure.
    Franz Marc died a young man, shrapnel in his brain.
    I would rather die than try to explain to the blue horses
    what war is.
    They would either faint in horror, or simply
    find it impossible to believe.
    I do not know how to thank you, Franz Marc.
    Maybe our world will grow kinder eventually.
    Maybe the desire to make something beautiful
    is the piece of God that is inside each of us.
    Now all four horses have come closer,
    are bending their faces toward me
    as if they have secrets to tell.
    I don't expect them to speak, and they don't.
    If being so beautiful isn't enough, what
    could they possibly say?


    You might see an angel anytime
    and anywhere. Of course you have
    to open your eyes to a kind of
    second level, but it's not really
    hard. The whole business of
    what's reality and what isn't has
    never been solved and probably
    never will be. So I don't care to
    be too definite about anything.
    I have a lot of edges called Perhaps
    and almost nothing you can call
    Certainty. For myself, but not
    for other people. That's a place
    you just can't get into, not
    entirely anyway, other people's

    I'll just leave you with this.
    I don't care how many angels can
    dance on the head of a pin. It's
    enough to know that for some people
    they exist, and that they dance.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017
  3. Winnipeg

    Winnipeg Well-Known Member

    What do you think was the genesis of poetry?
  4. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    Oh thanks for asking @Winnipeg.

    I think poetry is essential as an expression of who we are. Poetry communicates our experiences, and gives voice to that which is difficult to articulate in any other way except through creative imagination.

    The wonderful thing is how one person can write something unique to their own individual experience that on a deep level resonates in a universal way with many other people on different levels. Poetry is about sound, music, memory, scent, image, etc. Poetry inspires, enlivens and gives us hope if we are open to hearing, seeing, believing, and never giving up. :)

    The genesis of poetry is the genesis of human consciousness and the desire to communicate and make sense of our existence.
    Japanfan likes this.
  5. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    On Valentine's Day:

    How Do I Love Thee?

    How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
    I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
    My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
    For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
    I love thee to the level of every day's
    Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
    I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
    I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
    I love thee with the passion put to use
    In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
    I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
    With my lost saints, -- I love thee with the breath,
    Smiles, tears, of all my life! -- and, if God choose,
    I shall but love thee better after death.
    -- Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806 - 1861)

    To Anthea, Who May Command Him Anything

    Bid me to live, and I will live
    Thy protestant to be;
    Bid me to love, and I will give
    A loving heart to thee.

    A heart as soft, a heart as kind,
    A heart as sound and free,
    As in the whole world thou canst find,
    That heart I'll give to thee.

    Bid that heart stay, and it will stay,
    To honor thy decree;
    Or bid it languish quite away,
    And 't shall do so for thee.

    Bid me to weep, and I will weep,
    While I have eyes to see;
    And having none, yet I will keep
    A heart to weep for thee.

    Bid me despair, and I'll despair,
    Under that cypress tree;
    Or bid me die, and I will dare
    E'en in death to die for thee.

    Thou art my life, my love, my heart,
    The very eyes of me;
    And hast command of every part,
    To live and die for thee.
    -- Robert Herrick (1591 - 1674)

    Beauty That is Never Old

    When buffeted and beaten by life's storms,
    When by the bitter cares of life oppressed,
    I want no surer haven than your arms,
    I want no sweeter heaven than your breast.

    When over my life's way there falls the blight
    Of sunless days, and nights of starless skies;
    Enough for me, the calm and steadfast light
    That softly shines within your loving eyes.

    The world, for me, and all the world can hold
    Is circled by your arms; for me there lies,
    Within the lights and shadows of your eyes,
    The only beauty that is never old.
    -- James Weldon Johnson (1871 - 1938)
  6. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

    Love at First Sight
    Wislawa Szymborska, 1923 - 2012

    They’re both convinced
    that a sudden passion joined them.
    Such certainty is beautiful,
    but uncertainty is more beautiful still.

    Since they’d never met before, they’re sure
    that there’d been nothing between them.
    But what’s the word from the streets, staircases, hallways—
    perhaps they’ve passed by each other a million times?

    I want to ask them
    if they don’t remember—
    a moment face to face
    in some revolving door?
    perhaps a “sorry” muttered in a crowd?
    a curt “wrong number” caught in the receiver?—
    but I know the answer.
    No, they don’t remember.

    They’d be amazed to hear
    that Chance has been toying with them
    now for years.

    Not quite ready yet
    to become their Destiny,
    it pushed them close, drove them apart,
    it barred their path,
    stifling a laugh,
    and then leaped aside.

    There were signs and signals,
    even if they couldn’t read them yet.
    Perhaps three years ago
    or just last Tuesday
    a certain leaf fluttered
    from one shoulder to another?
    Something was dropped and then picked up.
    Who knows, maybe the ball that vanished
    into childhood’s thicket?

    There were doorknobs and doorbells
    where one touch had covered another
    Suitcases checked and standing side by side.
    One night, perhaps, the same dream,
    grown hazy by morning.

    Every beginning
    is only a sequel, after all,
    and the book of events
    is always open halfway through.

    Sung in the original Polish, with (slightly diffferent) English subtitles
    Sung in French
    aftershocks likes this.
  7. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    Going Out to the Garden

    Going out to the garden
    this morning
    to plant seeds
    for my winter greens
    -- the strong fiery mustard
    & the milder
    broadleaf turnip--
    I saw a gecko
    like the rest of us
    has been reeling from the heat.

    Geckos like heat
    I know this
    but the heat
    these last few days
    has been excessive
    for us
    & for them.

    A spray of water
    from the hose
    touched its skin:
    I thought it would
    run away.
    There are crevices
    to hide in:
    the garden wall
    is made of stones.

    But no
    not only
    did the gecko
    not run away
    it appeared
    to raise
    its eyes
    & head
    looking for more.

    I gave it.

    Squirt after
    of cooling
    from the green
    garden hose.

    Is it the end
    of the world?
    It seemed to ask.
    This bliss,
    is it Paradise?

    I bathed it
    until we were both
    washed clean
    of the troubles
    of this world
    at least for this moment:
    this moment of pleasure
    of gecko
    as I with so much happiness
    played Goddess
    to Gecko.

    -- Alice Walker, The World Will Follow Joy: Turning Madness Into Flowers (2013)