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Whatcom poets full of love for Valentine’s Day

“What sort of love,” a “found poem” by J.J. Kleinberg of Bellingham.
“What sort of love,” a “found poem” by J.J. Kleinberg of Bellingham. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Once again, love is overflowing in Whatcom County, as judged by the many love poems submitted to The Bellingham Herald for Valentine’s Day.

Here is a sampling, with more love poems online at bellinghamherald.com.

Diagramming love

I dream myself next to you

on a thin, penciled line.

I am a predicate — the action —

separated from you, subject

of my love. I hope to awaken,

find I am really a linking verb

and this sentence

is not in passive voice.

Timothy Pilgrim, Bellingham

A Valentine’s Haiku

A warm breath, an ear

A murmur of affection,

Spring’s promise of love

JoAna Phillips, Bellingham

I Will Make Him a Sunday

I will make him a Sunday

That does not have Monday on its mind

A day that stays

Soft under the covers and

Comfortable with itself

I will make him a time

That does not force a destination

No questions that demand to be answered

No closets to clean out

Just an appreciation of what is,

Comfortably cushioned by an

Acceptance of small miracles

Let tomorrow take care of itself.

Today I will imagine having a good book

To pretend to read

While looking up from my head in his lap to

marvel

Denise Binderup, Bellingham

Garden Love

A carnival of fecund lovers

Floats, struts, and sashays,

Flirts, flaps, swoops, and sways

In rituals of wild seduction.

Chorus lines of blousy blooms

Spring up from unkempt beds

And tilt coquettish heads

At wandering swarms

Of buzzing lovestruck bees,

As dainty painted ladies

Tipple and tickle

Their milkweed swains,

And woodpeckers drum

A hollow-tree love song.

Acrobatic acts ensue,

As squirrels trapeze through trees,

The males in ardent search

Of lively girls with fluffy tails

Who will — for once — hold still.

Hummingbirds then magically

Appear at center stage,

Where a sun-soaked male soars

Higher and ever higher skyward,

Then dives, kamikaze-like,

Down and down and down,

With blazing feathers vibrating fast

Like some stringed instrument of romance,

Wooing a winsome clique of females far below,

While a calliope of sparrow tongues flings out

Brash tunes into the dappled canopy,

And the two of us, bedazzled spectators,

Sit on the steps of our sturdy old porch,

Shoulder to shoulder, holding hands.

Victoria Doerper, Bellingham

Come sit with me and reminisce

Come sit with me and reminisce

and talk about the things we miss.

Think back about those many years,

of work and love and laughs and tears.

Remembering that bygone time

Would you still be my Valentine?

June Hinton, Bellingham

Mood Ring

If I had a mood ring

I’d slip it on your finger

so I could gauge

how much extra love

you needed today.

Judy Teresa, Bellingham

Valentine Haiku

Second grade love day

Forty seven Valentines

Where is one from him?

MaryAnn F. Kohl, Bellingham

To Lynne

Minutes, hours, days with you

Stretch into seasons, years, decades

And still I yearn for lifetimes together.

Sky Hedman, Bellingham

Measure for Measure

I dream I’m standing

in front of Village Books

with a man I love

when a girl with spiky blonde hair

wearing an angora sweater, miniskirt

and knee-high black boots

places a goldenrod-yellow measuring tape

around my companion’s neck.

He doesn’t resist

when she pulls him along with her.

What is the measure of a man

who’s so easily carried away?

Judy Teresa, Bellingham, previously published in “Clover: A Literary Rag”

Two Kisses

Just off the path a man and a woman pause,

intent only on each other — oblivious to backdrop

of slate water bay and island with its wound of quarry.

There’s peril here: beyond them the cliff side,

to the south the scab and char of the boiler works,

destroyed by fire from illegal rockets.

Skeletal, fire-blackened trees lean toward them.

He cradles her face in his hands, talks softly. One brief,

tentative kiss explores unknown but familiar territory.

The woman and man are middle-aged,

evidence that the goddess of second chances is at work,

evidence that despite peril or ruin, love is for all of us —

middle-aged, young, old. The world coalesces

to these two. He continues caressing her face;

she places her hands lightly on his waist.

A second, much longer kiss — intense, cushioned

by promise — continues as I walk by with my secret smile.

Andrew Shattuck McBride, Bellingham

Every Day, My Valentine

My Valentine was mine

Near 50 years and counting.

Gone with Time, the Master.

He is yet my red heart, my arrow.

Every song his words

Every creak his footstep

Every surface his glow

Every breeze his name

Every dream his touch

He is there.

Red heart and arrow.

Like star glow shooting wild

Like sunshine reflecting through glass

My Valentine, still mine.

MaryAnn F. Kohl, Bellingham

Valentine’s Day

There is no one day to say I love you

No one day to need a reminder of your place in my heart, my soul

But since such a day has been designated

Late in the winter’s gray and damp atmosphere

With red as the color to call our attention to this day

I take joy in this relationship so vibrant and warm

Finding and sharing adventures close to our Northwest home

On a trail, in a cottage or a hot spring pool

Or curled up in a bed under a cozy down quilt.

Lynne Pharis, Bellingham

My mother’s aprons

My mother’s aprons,

crisp, cross-stitched,

Hung on a hook by the kitchen door.

In these embroidered works of art,

She did her every chore,

But when I pressed and packaged them,

To pass them on once more,

My daughter laughed and questioned me,

“What are these relics for?”

No aprons for this modern girl,

No hairpins, nets and such.

No doilies on the bureau,

Provide a homey touch,

No sachets in her dresser drawers,

Nor hankies in her pockets,

No cozies on her tea pots,

No cameos and lockets,

But though I mourned the loss of these,

I asked her to sit down

And told her, “Dearest daughter,

This is what I’ve found:

“It’s not the icons or the things,

Nor anything we own,

But hearts and souls and peace and love,

That make a house a home.”

Judith Borman Harding, Glacier

Just for you

Thinking and dreaming tonight,

Looking out of my window, with three,

The stars are shining brightly,

And it’s always you that I see.

I remember when times were different,

When I did not have to dream,

Whenever I come to see you,

You were always there it seemed.

Do you remember each time you kissed me?

Each time that you held me tight?

They are my heavenly memories,

of what I am dreaming tonight.

Remember each time that you loved me?

And how often I said, “I’ll be true”?

All these things I remember

and millions of others, too.

I pray to God that you will cherish

and always hold on high,

that fact that I love you dearly,

and my love shall never die.

These are the things I am dreaming,

that our love is stronger than might.

I hope and pray for our future,

dreaming of you tonight.

Submitted by Ann Stubenrauch, Blaine

(Written by Ann Stubenrauch’s mother, Dorothy King, to her father in 1943, when he was a Marine stationed in the Pacific. Her mother had two children and was expecting a third when she wrote it while in Missouri. Her mother died in May 2009; her father, 94, survives.)

From Another Place

Six stones and two short sticks

are all I carry home.

Other keepsakes of our journey

come from a deeper place.

I didn’t use a camera

nor other electronic thing

to collect mementos from our trip.

My picture-taking

is inside my eyes

but for six pebbles

flat and smooth as stones may be,

and round, for comfort in each hand.

Two sticks, both batons

saved for use,

one to orchestrate the beat of time,

the other one to pass to you.

Linda Conroy, Bellingham

Missing you

Within this marketplace, where past

and present actively conspire,

contrive their chalky phrases

while I balance on the wire, within this

hazardous metropolis of love

illusion is enthroned, its shards

of misplaced hours, their tethered

seconds thick with embrace, each artful guise,

the harmony of lies, these platitudes that shills,

and croupiers rehearse in ornamented

sacrificial verse,

I sense my skin drawn tight on bone,

feel thorns of knowing that cruel time

reveals beside each promised rose, the seas

of silence that each word conceals.

Stark marketplace, shadow land where

I whisper my wants, when I have gone

past dialogue with its half an octave

empty cocktail laughter, while I wait

to be touched.

Jim Milstead, Bellingham

Thankfully our love outlasts our cars

Got the ’62 Bug about the time we started

Dating. Used graduation money and some

savings, $400 total. Two years, trips

over the mountains to see you and a rebuilt

engine later I bought the ’68 Opal Kadet,

powder blue. Carried us away on our

wedding day. Not a bad car, unless you

wanted heat. First new car was the ’75 Civic.

Made us feel so grown up. We traded it for a

Honda wagon, four doors and hopes to need

the extra space for kids. Soon added the Datsun

pick-up for daily commutes, me north, you east.

Basically a headache. Next the silver Accord,

the fastback. You kindly gave into my dream that

became a nightmare, worse than the

Datsun. Kyle was about 6 months when it broke

down in Everett on our way home from your

Grandfather’s Memorial service. Bob was with

us. I think of it every time I drive by the

restaurant, now a casino, that we went to to

find a phone. Michael arrived and so did

the Ford (Why a Ford?) Escort. Four door

hatchback, Fawn was the official color. More

like blah. Next came the Colt Vista, seven

seats, but not a mini-van. My ego could not handle

a mini-van. Unnumbered trips up and down I-5 for

family visits and vacations with the boys. Got a

used Honda for a second car. This led to learning

emerald black is not black. Became Kyle’s car

and eventually died somewhere in Oregon. Bought

the Rav in ’97. That brutal year that included my

Dad dying of lung cancer. When the Colt ceased

operation, somewhere between home and Mt. Baker,

I got the ‘95 Tacoma. Traded the Rav for a

Highlander, ’08. 0% interest loan with room for

camping gear and grandkids. On an unseasonably

hot day, before a June wedding, Kyle helped me

pick out the Mazda 3 (0%, again). Velocity Red,

6 speed, quick and agile. Seemingly the perfect car

as we, yet again, entered an era of unexpected life

shifts and possibilities.

Jim Schmotzer, Bellingham

THEY SING

They sing of

How it’s achy

Lonely

Scattered

Fragile

And breaks

They sing of

Its soul

Its beat

Its heavy and light weight

Its warmth

Its coolness

They sing of

Its youth

Its old age

They sing of

Changing it

Crossing it

Putting love into it

They sing of

It being lost

Given

Held captive

Taken back

They sing of

It written on

Listened to

Stepped on

Stolen

Chained

Eclipsed

They sing of

It cheating

Tearing

Lying

Singing

Skipping

They sing of

It being gold

Stone

Wooden

Ice

Fire

Hungry

They sing of

Where it is

Here

There

Deep inside

On a sleeve

They sing of

It being good

Evil

Foolish

Hardened

Wild

Free

They sing of

It being broken

In a hotel

A station

A town

A hurricane

On an express

They sing of

It being left

Lost

Forgotten

Given

Opened

Rained on

They sing of

It being one

Two

Too many

They sing of

The most important

Things to know -

No matter what

It can be mended

It will beat on

Frank Frazee, Bellingham

Cat With A Halo

We have a cat with a halo,

Who uses my love as a pillow.

One day, before the cat had been fed,

On that sacred lap, I laid my head.

And now, my poor love is a widow.

John S Green, Bellingham

Chad

All these years we’ve been together, and more to come until forever ...

You’ve brought such Joy into my life, I am so Thankful to be your Wife

This Valentines Day and everyday after, I am so grateful for your Love and Laughter

As I write this Valentine, I pray you’ll say that you’ll be Mine

Forever Yours, Melinda

Melinda Bergman, Bellingham

I See You, I Hear You and I will Forever Love You

When I open my eyes I look up, I look down I look all around. I wait for my love to come to me. I look for that beautiful smile, I look for that warm embrace, I look over and I see you. I see the love of my life, my other half that completes me, I see my future. I see you.

I hear a love that can be for no other, I hear a voice that can make my heart melt with those three words (I love you), I hear good morning, good evening, good afternoon, I hear you.

When I open my eyes I see you, I hear you and I will forever love you.

MamaT

Tamera Julius, Bellingham

Every day we have something to

Every day we have something to

or somewhere to go.

Every day we have someone to call

Someone to see

Someone to love.

But the most important is that

every day we have something to give each other.

This has been the secret of

our many years of marriage.

Happy Valentine’s Day my dear husband.

Marian Yunghans , Bellingham

Sylvia will you please be mine?

Sylvia will you please be mine?

I want you to be my Valentine,

You are without a doubt a Queen,

You are in every way pristine.

Doug Fuhs, Everson

My chest expands with the warmth of your words

My chest expands with the warmth of your words

During our starry reinvigorations of our lives entwined.

We exchange soft spoken sentiments doused

With the bittersweet melancholy of our current

Arrangement of molecules.

Our love affair persists perhaps more fervidly with the

Sorrow of your departure

And the misfortune of our separate paths.

When the ardent passions of our spirits meet in flesh,

There will be a completeness

That will radiate from the depths of us.

Amber Due, Bellingham

For My Wife Adena

I got there late and the “wife” cards were gone,

But I smiled at the empty display.

For no purchased words on pretty paper

Could express what I wanted to say.

More and more with each passing year

It is you who illuminate my life.

I count it my strongest blessing that

Forever you will be my wife.

I love you for lots of reasons,

Though here are just a few:

You’re the best friend a friend ever had,

And that’s not just me and you.

I know your circle would all agree;

For you’ve never let them down.

You have an ever-cheerful spirit;

We doubt you’re able to frown.

In short my sweet . . .

You ARE the sunshine of my life -

No hint of cooling is near.

From your lips come true support

In words of love I hold most dear.

I love you Deeny, as the day loves the light,

So HAPPY VALENTINES DAY now, and later ... good night!

Bob Mooers, Bellingham

Tree of Love

Our love is no accident,

It didn’t happen just like that.

We worked hard to let it grow,

Never once looking back.

Every obstacle, we defeated,

Every fight that we forgave.

Made the branches of our love,

Bend, but never break.

Truth and honesty form the roots,

Communication is the trunk.

The limbs stand for our friendship,

The heart is from where it comes.

Knots are our disagreements,

There seem to be quite a few.

But like the tree, we will stand,

Together, we’ve made it through.

The bark is understanding,

That surrounds our very lives.

The leaves of many colors,

Are for all the times we smiled.

So you see what it takes,

To grow a tree of love.

A lot of time and patience,

And a little help from above.

Nathan L. Maclin, Ferndale, dedicated to his wife of 20 years, Lorilee Maclin

Time’s Sight

Pondering within the realms of your eyes,

Holding dreams, joyous occasions, and tears to my surprise,

I take grasp of your hand and its shaking clutch,

Whispers tickle my ears of memories and such,

Powerful drums that play their typical tune beneath our chests,

Gazing upon your grace and strong will, but alas it’s time for a rest,

We were said to be insane by everyone around,

When I was once back into your arms though your voice was the only sound,

The physicality of my well being might be failing,

Yet the emotional bond will ever more be prevailing,

My guardian angel, my keeper at night,

You are still the reason for which I keep up this fight,

I could never comprehend the truth being spoken about the term love,

I was tossed around and made broken by the creature disguising itself as a dove,

Lust filled pitiful creatures that swore to shred me apart,

Then you came around with a wondrous smile, promising only to help mend my heart,

Thankful I took that leap of faith and fell so fast,

Because now I look back on the eight months that lie within the past,

We’ve both had our tears and our heartaches to share,

But we’re already on the right path, together we’ll repair,

KC Freitas, I’m overflowing with such wonderful emotions to have you view me of your future wife,

Because together we have planned such a jubilant life.

Judith Murrell, Bellingham

8 months

8 months since the day my life turned to color from the grey

The pieces which once lay in shambles now aligned and rearranged

I’ve been given new purpose with this love

And yet still I stand here simply amazed

You have turned my sorrows into joy and laughter

Enchanted the meaning of my life with things that matter

My heart is yours to keep and so on February 14th

I’ll not only be your valentine

My true gift to you

Will be all of me and for all time

Judith Anne Murrell I think the world of you and just want you to know

That you bring me such happiness and joy

I shall never let you go

Happy Valentines Day Luv

K.C.

K.C. Freitas, Bellingham

Charlie,

Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

I am so happy

to have met you.

Love, Melanie

Melanie Bazle, Bellingham

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