Category Archives: love

Friday poem: Suzanne

Suzanne takes you down to her place near the river
You can hear the boats go by
You can spend the night beside her
And you know that she’s half crazy
But that’s why you want to be there
And she feeds you tea and oranges
That come all the way from China
And just when you mean to tell her
That you have no love to give her
Then she gets you on her wavelength
And she lets the river answer
That you’ve always been her lover
And you want to travel with her
And you want to travel blind
And you know that she will trust you
For you’ve touched her perfect body with your mind.

And Jesus was a sailor
When he walked upon the water
And he spent a long time watching
From his lonely wooden tower
And when he knew for certain
Only drowning men could see him
He said “All men will be sailors then
Until the sea shall free them”
But he himself was broken
Long before the sky would open
Forsaken, almost human
He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone

And you want to travel with him
And you want to travel blind
And you think maybe you’ll trust him
For he’s touched your perfect body with his mind.

Now Suzanne takes your hand
And she leads you to the river
She is wearing rags and feathers
From Salvation Army counters
And the sun pours down like honey
On our lady of the harbour
And she shows you where to look
Among the garbage and the flowers
There are heroes in the seaweed
There are children in the morning
They are leaning out for love
And they will lean that way forever
While Suzanne holds the mirror
And you want to travel with her
And you want to travel blind
And you know that you can trust her
For she’s touched your perfect body with her mind.

Leonard Cohen (1933 – 2016)

So, I’ve cheated a bit, as these are song lyrics, but Leonard was also a published poet, and these words are surely poetry…..

Friday Poem: If You Forget Me

I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
remember
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

But
if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.

by Pablo Neruda

Friday Poem: Lesbia by Catullus

Lesbia, come, let us live and love, and be
deaf to the vile jabber of the ugly old fools,
the sun may come up each day but when our
star is out…our night, it shall last forever and
give me a thousand kisses and a hundred more
a thousand more again, and another hundred,
another thousand, and again a hundred more,
as we kiss these passionate thousands let
us lose track; in our oblivion, we will avoid
the watchful eyes of stupid, evil peasants
hungry to figure out
how many kisses we have kissed.

Written by Catullus
Translated from the Latin by Michael G. Donkin

https://intranslation.brooklynrail.org/latin/eleven-poems-of-catullus/

My Cheeseseller loves Catullus, because he’s usually very very rude and it was OK to read that in Latin Classes at school! I picked a clean one…..

What time is Love?

The time you grew into love
silver evenings, golden days
each one a voyage of happy discovery

The time when you knew
shared the joy
began to live
together

The time of your wedding
promises made and love avowed
the future grasped firmly
by the hands

 Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

(with apologies to KLF for borrowing the title)

This poem is for Ingunn Johannesen and Erling Mork, married today in Oslo

I so wish to be there……

Friday Poem: Atlas

There is a kind of love called maintenance
Which stores the WD40 and knows when to use it;

Which checks the insurance, and doesn’t forget
The milkman; which remembers to plant bulbs;

Which answers letters; which knows the way
The money goes; which deals with dentists

And Road Fund Tax and meeting trains,
And postcards to the lonely; which upholds

The permanently rickety elaborate
Structures of living, which is Atlas.

And maintenance is the sensible side of love,
Which knows what time and weather are doing
To my brickwork; insulates my faulty wiring;
Laughs at my dryrotten jokes; remembers
My need for gloss and grouting; which keeps
My suspect edifice upright in air,
As Atlas did the sky.

By UA Fanthorpe (Ursula Fanthorpe)

Fossil (as published in Andromeda Spaceways)

Transfixed by desert heat
we scan the cliff once more
new techniques allow us
to find smaller and smaller variations
display greater detail
and so, next to the dinosaur bones
we found the stone tablet, embossed
and also, carved ever so finely
a flower blossom
so not a counting of prey killed
as found before
debate rages, but preliminary analysis
indicates the planets oldest love poem

Copyright © 2019 Kim Whysall-Hammond

This poem was first published in issue 76 of Andromeda Spaceways Magazine, September 2019.

Thank you Tom and Michelle!

Andromeda spaceways issue 76 cover

Friday Poem: First Love

Falling in love was like falling down the stairs
Each stair had her name on it
And he went bouncing down each one like a tongue-tied
lunatic
One day of loving her was an ordinary year
He transformed her into what he wanted
And the scent from her
Was the best scent in the world
Fifteen he was fifteen
Each night he dreamed of her
Each day he telephoned her
Each day was unfamiliar
Scary even
And the fear of her going weighed on him like a stone
And when he could not see her for two nights running
It seemed a century had passed
And meeting her and staring at her face
He knew he would feel as he did forever
Hopelessly in love
Sick with it
And not even knowing her second name yet
It was the first time
The best time
A time that would last forever
Because it was new
Because he was ignorant it could ever end
It was endless

by Brian Patten