Herald readers share Valentine poems

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDFebruary 10, 2014 

Valentine poems

This "found poem" was created by J.I. Kleinberg of Bellingham.

J.I. KLEINBERG — COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERAL

The Bellingham Herald asked its readers to submit love poems in honor of Valentine's Day.

FOR KAREN

Valenthyme!

Valenthyme!

The bells do chyme.

The lover writes with

fractured rhyme;

a wondrous chryme.

Be myme!

Be myme!

Oh frabulous joy

and so sublyme.

How I love you, Valenthyme!

- Dan Perry, Bellingham

CHICKEN

(found in Port Townsend tavern bathroom)

Just when I thought

it couldn't get any better

she brought out the chicken

and, boy,

could she serve

chicken.

- Timothy Pilgrim, Bellingham, published by Caper Literary Journal, 2010

BROCCOLI FIRST

You always eat your broccoli first,

And save dessert for last.

That's why I've married twice,

Back in the distant past.

But now I've found the perfect guy,

Gary, you're my apple pie!

- Rosemary Anker, Blaine

I REMEMBER LOVE

Memories fade as memories do

But tell me why I can't remember you

You seem to know me or at least who I was

Fleeting faces all turn into a fuzz

Trapped in a world I know nothing of

Yet deep, deep inside me I remember love

Try as hard as I can I don't remember your name

Do we look alike are we one in the same

What is happening to me kind stranger do tell

I feel that I'm falling down a deep dark well

Trapped in a world I know nothing of

Yet deep, deep inside me I remember love

You hold my arm and you guide my hand

My thoughts are scattered searching for a place to land

Wait a moment a glimmer of light

We've loved one another, isn't that right

Trapped in a world I know nothing of

Yet deep, deep inside me I remember love

Maybe just maybe I'm not totally lost

Can you help me kind stranger am I worth the cost

Trapped in a world I know nothing of

Yet deep, deep inside me I remember love

Trapped in a world I know nothing of

Yet deep, deep inside me I remember your love

- Lyn Hansen-Blizzard, Blaine

ENDURING LOVE

Nursing student orientation at University Hospital,

Ann Arbor, 1953

A woman struggles

between parallel bars

learning to walk again

after suffering a stroke.

She's pregnant with her 13th child.

She's not yet 50.

Her husband watches

with love and concern

his whole body consumed

with her recovery.

Love is not enough to hold

this family together:

their twelve children live

in foster homes. The baby

will become a ward of the state.

Yet the man has his wife.

His eyes reveal

the unconditional affection

he feels for her.

She is his Helen.

I envy a woman so loved.

- Judy Teresa, Bellingham

IN ALASKA, I GREW OLD

In Alaska, I grew old

Looking for that pot of gold.

Now I find at rainbow's end

Golden hearts like yours, my friend.

- Meg Hayes, Bellingham

THOUGH STRANGE, THOUGH ENOUGH

A ghazal:

There was a time I kept my heart as stowaway,

below deck in a dark and musty brig. I met you anyway.

You say, "A mountain never climbs the climber," but halfway

there, the observant one sees it has taken you anyway.

Dust in the wind is last summer's insect swarm, a strange decay

that glows in the sunset. I believe in you, anyway.

Poets? Edna St. Vincent Millay? Or even Hemingway.

Neither sea nor season holds love like yours in any way.

A toast. Another. Another. And then let's make our getaway.

Drive like mad. The road twists around for you anyway.

Undone. This life is a tower of vertebrae,

stacked and strung, you standing in the way.

Oh ye of little grace, ye who spills café au lait,

there's nothing more to do. I love you anyway.

- Anita K. Boyle, Bellingham

RAVINE

Were my mind a ravine,

there would be a creek

testing itself against the boulders

and fallen limbs.

Were my eyes amber jewels,

they would gather moonlight

to help scholars of the dark

do their challenging work.

And imagine my mouth

being a purse, which would

gather rather than spew.

My heart, then, would be

a clenched fist whose fingers

would loosen, its palm warm

to the touch of you.

- James Bertolino, Bellingham

INTELLIGENT INTIMACY

In-2-me-see-intelli-gently.

2 see the me in you, as to

see the you in me?

In-telling-U-gently, about

seeing the we 2-be?

In the moment we dance

together, as intelligent intimacy.

- John C. Ruth, Bellingham

YOU, MY LOVE, ARE ...

Like a sister whose thisses and thats

became my thats and thisses.

Like a neighbor for whom I cut some slack.

Allow things to go her way, or go away and come back.

Like a nurse who makes this lifetime post-op bearable

comes better or worse.

Like a teacher who reveals not too much at once.

A bottle or a dunce can fill only so fast without a mess.

Like a companion who sweeps the emptiness out of the house.

To whom I can say, "Wow, did you see that?"

"Yeah, I saw that. Wow."

Like a trusted relative who's known me

since way back there, and seen

my steps and missteps getting to here from that where.

Like a lover whose kisses light a fire in the stove

stick by stick. Open the damper, stir the coals

until heat transcends the box and flies everywhere

and then everywhere else.

- Leslie DeBrock, Bellingham

HERE WITH ME

your voice was like water

after all these years;

that only you could soothe,

that only you know how

to fill this part of me

that I'd let run dry ...

like water flowing through

forgotten valleys,

right through the middle of me,

so familiar ...

your voice alone knows

the banks of my soul -

to run against,

to smooth over old earth

years dry;

your voice alone ...

and what miracles of life

would now spring forth -

if all of you

were here with me?

- Deborah Lutz, Bellingham

AND IT IS GOOD

I guess hormones get things started,

creating some sense of social order,

maybe keeping the race alive.

Something other binds us,

whispering deep within

for almost forty years now.

Naming seems simplistic or incomplete

but it exists, we are together,

and it is good.

- Jim Schmotzer, Bellingham

I THINK LOVE IS LIKE THIS

I'm trying to write about love,

but what do I know? My thoughts

pivot and turn, bend and return

to how I had to euthanize a cat -

my Bigglesworth -

so recently (it has been days),

to how I closed his eyes,

said Good-bye, sweet prince.

I think love is like this:

not wanting to say good-bye,

knowing I must.

My thoughts interrupted:

my second cat Angel joins me,

sprawls over writing table,

reminds me of promise.

Angel, a domestic short-hair white cat,

looks in my eyes for reassurance.

I tell him I love you, and he purrs.

I think love is like this: attentive,

unconditional, a purr sacred

and astonishing as throat singing.

I think love is like this: waking,

padding in quietly, asking for attention,

and suddenly I know - love is here.

Love has always been here

in the dining room of my hope,

waiting for me.

- Andrew Shattuck McBride, Bellingham

INVITATION

My love, I come to you with a grateful heart,

present a plan to carry us away.

To never let life's troubles tear apart

the tender love we share, our sense of play.

We met so long ago, but we still know

a route back to our passion gently spoken.

Let's sail together! Let the river flow,

carry us to that place where hearts will open.

Our sloop skims silky surface, freely floats,

leaves all regret and simple fear behind.

Just load your tender feelings in the boat,

Come, quickly now, before you change your mind.

You bring the vests, keep us safe forevermore.

I'll loose the rope that binds us to the shore.

- Jacqueline Anderson, Bellingham

ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER SHOWER

There she stood

I could have reached out

And touched her

I could have asked her name

Could have made her laugh

She was alive with the day

Full of desire, wired with the moment

Natural beyond her youth

Vibrant, interested, animated

A lover of what is real

There I stood

Living the day as we dream of it

Coming face to face with enthrallment

I could have taken her to dinner

Could have bought her chocolate

Brought her flowers

I could have kissed her cheek

Held her hand, rubbed her shoulders

I could have changed her life

Lived mine

I walked away with my purchases

Waited for the doors to open

Left

Opened my car

Drove off

Glanced back

The yellow light and busy street drew me away

Away from the moment that had just passed

And into the present moment

Moment of sorrow

Moment of sadness

Moment of caustic grief

I went home

Opened a bottle of wine

Poured myself a glass

Did fifty push-ups

Fifty sit-ups

Closed the porch door as the night air dampened the room

Took off my clothes

Turned on the shower

Adjusting the hot and cold faucets

Stepped into the bathtub

Cleaned myself

Washing off the day's accumulations

Stepped out of the bathtub

Dried myself

Another day

Another shower

- John S. Green, Bellingham

UNTITLED #23 (LEAN IN CLOSE)

Take a deep breath, lean in close, never let me go

I'm not sure what love is and I can't really tell you

why I feel this way.

But let's close our eyes & forever stay in love.

I never noticed my happiness before, it was just there

& sometimes I feel that I might die from your love.

A happy death it will be & then they'll see our love.

Snuggle up to me kiss me sweetly, never let me go.

Dark nights light up when I see you brighter than the

sunniest day in summertime

When you said you loved me I cried because the feeling

I had, I knew it would last.

Right now I can still see your love now we got older

& time always flies but I never thought I would have to

say good bye

I wanted you to see you have given me everything

& I want to say thank you and ... please stay.

It's late now you'll be gone soon so before you go

I'll take a deep breath, lean in closer , hold you tight

love you the most

- Allison Rivera, daughter of Joe River of Bellingham, died from a heart anomaly in October 2011. She was 18.

SOLITAIRE

September arrives.

Deadlines approach.

Hours disappear.

I strive to crystallize their meaning

as a child might seek a lost love

among strangers.

It grows dark.

Nights seem to spin themselves

Into the fabric of a dream.

Days shuffle by,

or rush headlong out of control,

a calendar of numbers.

Faces pass without meaning.

Crisp scenes escape, remnants remain.

Clothed in a worn beige coat,

she reaches out. I hold her briefly.

Her silver hair glistens

in the waning summer afternoon.

We sit sifting softly through our words,

seeking a greater voice,

hands across our table touching,

as if it means more than I dare to mean.

There is a fragile path in her quiet smile

waiting to be explored.

I hear the melody of her voice,

sense the soft textures

that lie hidden beneath her surfaces,

revel in the eternal essence of her

that clings and saturates my vision.

Together at a reading, our symmetry binds us.

Words disappear, her presence so intense

that all else becomes white noise.

I trace her outline in the quiet dark,

the luxury of a final glance,

the soft sound of departing footsteps.

Nothing deafens

like the anguish

of goodby.

- Jim Milstead, Bellingham

CONJURATION

St. Valentine, bring my love to me

and I will bring my love in kind -

My seven dull knives to the kitchen drawer -

My deadly sins in the dishwasher -

Solomon's Seal's sprinkled in the corner -

Pinned a swallow's heart to lavender!

Queen Sheba on sheepskin where none can find -

Now deploy my love, St. Valentine!

I've told the sea, the stars, the skies -

I've whispered sweet some things; I've drunk wine -

The Orris root's powdered and on the table -

Now bring my love, not some fairy's fable!

Deliver my love - St. Valentine, I wrote

The spell - devote my soul, my flesh in kind.

- Anthony Arena, Bellingham

THE SCHOOL VALENTINE BOX

The important day is here.

It's time to open the Valentine box,

Filled with cards sweet and dear.

All is quiet, no one talks.

We're going to have some classroom cheer.

Off with the lid, there are no locks.

So "give out the cards" with lots of winks.

No card for me won't be fun,

Each child silently thinks.

How quickly the deliveries all are done.

There are no tears or eyelid blinks,

For every child gets more than one.

- Alice Gray Ellingson, Bellingham

MY SECRET

I laugh because you

make me happy ...

I smile because you

are on my mind ...

I am not cold because you

keep me warm ...

I am not crazy because you

make me sane.

I am not half because you

make me whole ....

- Faith Ulate, Bellingham

MY BABY VALENTINE

A Valentine's Day poem?

I'll give it a whirl!

This poem is meant for

my new baby girl

You were very much wanted,

and wished for each day

"God, bring me a child"

each night I would pray

You entered the world

one sunny August morn

With the arrival of you

I felt reborn

Your cute gummy smile

Your drooly snuggles, I love

I just know you were sent here

from Heaven above

Your giggles ... infectious!

Your blue eyes, so bright

I love your excitement each morning

and snuggles at night

You're growing so fast

Soon you'll crawl, walk, then run!

We'll learn and we'll play

I'll show you life is so fun

My sweet Laila Kate

You make Mommy's heart shine

You'll forever be

My Baby Valentine

- Amanda Raymor, Bellingham

COMING UP

Fifteen couples will read love poems at "Love uncensored," A SpeakEasy community poetry event at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, in the Encore Room at Mount Baker Theatre. Admission is free, with donations appreciated. Please, adults only.

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