In honor of V-Day, I'm going to share a little love, the kind of love that burns bright between my wife and myself. We found each other through poetry, and we continue to write poetry with (and without) words every day we're together (and even when we're in different states, we're together). I thought I'd share a few of those love poems here (we've written so many over the years).
Tammy started it all with this one:
Attachments to Digital Things
For you, it is an alarm
clock, a constant
since childhood, never stopping
or moving fast enough
to get away from his hands.
Children are taught to be still
for fear of breaking something
they're not supposed to touch.
So you dug your feet
into the snow, made a game
of outlasting your brothers in the cold.
It was later you decided to run
cross country, to push forward
alone against the clock, let go
of your legs, your heart
to keep control of your breath
when the alarm fails to sound.
Waking up on your own,
the forgiving sun.
Then, a few V-Days ago, I wrote this:
At the arboretum
From his box of Sweethearts, he hands
her candy that reads CUTIE PIE
before eating his own WILD LIFE.
They walk the paved path to a pond
filled with sleeping koi. A sign warns
KEEP OFF GRASS, but she leads him there
anyway. In high school, this is where
he would run across the frozen pond and
wander off the trails and into the summer
creek water. He hands her CLOUD NINE
and pops a CHILL OUT. He remembers
being young and cold in February, but
a sweater feels just right today. He's
not in high school anymore he thinks and
starts to move back toward the path.
But then, she touches his arm, whispers, "Stay."
At some point in 2008, Tammy wrote this poem and framed it for my birthday:
You said you spent 5 minutes of your life
today looking for a staple remover.
Something to do with your job.
You edit, and sometimes
there is a need to pull things
apart. There are mountains
between us, and then a river.
The land swells with seeds
that fall from your pockets,
sewing the distance with deep
breaths, an entire city
in your smile.
I tell you about the Mokens,
gypsies of the Andaman Sea.
How they knew to flee the tsunami
before the first wave tore trees
from their roots, husbands from wives.
When the sky turns to salt, sometimes
there is a thirst. In their language
there is no word for want,
only an understanding
of give and take. You said
I took away your need
and you want
to share water with me.
The ground presses its pregnant
belly against my feet. I am
distracted by squirrels
in the trees. Wind.
I still use my prompt-poems on Poetic Asides as excuses to surprise Tammy with love poems. Here's one of my recent favorites:
I think the world is a pin cushion
There's a space between everyday matters
that makes someone feel every day matters,
a breath or sigh in the darkness. We surround
our time with excuses and distractions, bind
those we love with commitments when we should be
splashing around in dark puddles while the rain
covers us in nothing more than what it is.
Tammy and I have written scores of love poems to each other (and I'm sure we've got about a gazillion more to write), but I wanted to share a little of the love with everyone, because it is--after all--Valentine's Day. So, Happy Valentine's Day!
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Check out the 2010 Poet's Market I edited by clicking here.