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Betty 3d
Why do we do it
tear a fragile piece
of inner self
a printed page
and hang it raw
for public crows to peck and gnaw
blowing dry for all the world to see
what need have we
but still we strive to write
to search our foggy tired brains
and sift the ashes that remain
to lay them bare
upon the hearth and stone
to carry on
and give a little blood and bone
with every word we make our own!
This Dark Well Soul

This dark well soul,
desert dry,
having nothing to write of,
and nowhere to write from.
The world moves on,
as his pen sets, silent, and still,
waiting, for another poem,
waiting, for another poet,
to admire, and then forget.

James E. Roethlein copyright 2021
Jim is the author of two books of poetry “Musing On The Cricket Game of Life Part 1 1/2” and “An Extravagant Way of Saying Nothing “both available on Amazon
i can still feel it — the ghostly echo of storm clouds it in my throat, now dry and emptied of the softest sighs. they all had fallen on my flower-bed skin, pristine as the petals that once were. or so i pretend. i can still feel it in my throat: the storm, looming. the calm drowning itself, and its haunting, beckoning call to which my feet slowly walk.

some days, it's just you and the uncharted depths of your own skin.

some days, you can bother with poems — some days, you can only drown.
fray narte Feb 16
no i am not kind, i will pull your heart out of your chest — stain it with fleeting moments of softness before running it over with my train-wreck hands. i will pick you wild roses — they all die in my palms; maybe so will this love. i will kiss you and hold you, as we slow-dance our way to disaster; all we can do is sigh and crumble like greek ruins dying in a modern city. is it so bad, then, loving you with the kind of love that breaks and terrifies, and leaves you hurting and burning and wanting more? is this so bad, then, when it's the only way i've ever loved, and the only way i've ever known?
fray narte Feb 16
These fantasies always end with you staying. Here, my heart can afford to break itself, over and over for you. Here, I never had to let you go again. Here, my love for you always — always outweighs the heartbreak. My love, these fantasies — they always end with us staying.

I guess some things, I wish we had. Some things, I wish were ours. Some things, I wish were us.
The First Valentine Poem

Charles d’Orleans (1394-1465) has been credited with writing the first Valentine poem for his wife in 1415. Charles wrote the first Valentine poem in the first year of his captivity while being held prisoner in the Tower of London.

My Very Gentle Valentine
by Charles d’Orleans (c. 1394-1465)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

My very gentle Valentine,
Alas, for me you were born too soon,
As I was born too late for you!
May God forgive my jailer
Who has kept me from you this entire year.
I am sick without your love, my dear,
My very gentle Valentine.

Keywords/Tags: Valentine, Valentines Day, love, poem, poetry, poets, romance, romantic love, heart, passion

Valentine Poems for the Ultimate Lovers: Mothers

Mother’s Smile
by Michael R. Burch

There never was a fonder smile
than mother’s smile, no softer touch
than mother’s touch. So sleep awhile
and know she loves you more than “much.”

So more than “much,” much more than “all.”
Though tender words, these do not speak
of love at all, nor how we fall
and mother’s there, nor how we reach
from nightmares in the ticking night
and she is there to hold us tight.

There never was a stronger back
than father’s back, that held our weight
and lifted us, when we were small,
and bore us till we reached the gate,
then held our hands that first bright mile
till we could run, and did, and flew.
But, oh, a mother’s tender smile
will leap and follow after you!

by Michael R. Burch

Your love is as delicate
as a butterfly cleaning its wings,
as soft as the predicate the hummingbird sings
to itself, gently murmuring?
“Fly! Fly! Fly!”
Your love is the string
soaring kites untie.

This is another poem suitable for mothers, especially for those with children who are growing up and learning to fly on their own.

Sweet Valentine Poems for Sweethearts

Passionate One
by Michael R. Burch

Love of my life,
light of my morning?
arise, brightly dawning,
for you are my sun.

Give me of heaven
both manna and leaven?
desirous Presence,
Passionate One.

don’t forget ...
by Michael R. Burch
(after e. e. cummings)

don’t forget to remember
that Space is curved
(like your Heart)
and that even Light is bent
by your Gravity.

This may be a good Valentine poem for someone who "centers" a household or relationship with their love.

Kissin’ ’n’ buzzin’
by Michael R. Burch

Kissin’ ’n’ buzzin’
the bees rise
in a dizzy circle of two.
Oh, when I’m with you,
I feel like kissin’ ’n’ buzzin’ too!

I dedicated this Valentine's Day poem to the love of my life, but you are welcome to dedicate it to the love of yours.

The One True Poem
by Michael R. Burch

Love was not meaningless ...
nor your embrace, nor your kiss.

And though every god proved a phantom,
still you were divine to your last dying atom ...

So that when you are gone
and, yea, not a word remains of this poem,

even so,
We were One.

The Poem of Poems
by Michael R. Burch

This is my Poem of Poems, for you.
Every word ineluctably true:
I love you.

Sudden Shower
by Michael R. Burch

The day’s eyes were blue
until you appeared
and they wept at your beauty.

This is a "rainy day" Valentine poem that might come in handy when the weather interferes with other plans.

Let Me Give Her Diamonds
by Michael R. Burch

Let me give her diamonds
for my heart's
sharp edges.

Let me give her roses
for my soul's

Let me give her solace
for my words
of treason.

Let the flowering of love
outlast a winter

Let me give her books
for all my lack
of reason.

Let me give her candles
for my lack
of fire.

Let me kindle incense,
for our hearts

the breath-fanned
flaming perfume
of desire.

This is an "apology" poem that may come in handy when trying to make up, and perhaps make out!

Passion & Desire: Some of these poems will go well with gifts of lingerie …

Sappho, fragment 42
translation by Michael R. Burch

Eros harrows my heart:
wild winds whipping desolate mountains
uprooting oaks.

Sappho, fragment 155
translation by Michael R. Burch

A short revealing frock?
It's just my luck
your lips were made to mock!

Sappho, fragment 22
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

That enticing girl's clinging dresses
leave me trembling, overcome by happiness,
as once, when I saw the Goddess in my prayers
eclipsing Cyprus.

by Michael R. Burch

Show me your most intimate items of apparel;
begin with the hem of your quicksilver slip ...

Warming Her Pearls
by Michael R. Burch

Warming her pearls,
her ******* gleam like constellations.
Her belly is a bit rotund ...
she might have stepped out of a Rubens.

If your lover isn't rail-thin, this poem may be a good way to compliment her curves.

Duet, Minor Key
by Michael R. Burch

Without the drama of cymbals
or the fanfare and snares of drums,
I present my case
stripped of its fine veneer:
Behold, thy instrument.

Play, for the night is long.

Are You the Thief
by Michael R. Burch

When I touch you now,
O sweet lover,
full of fire,
melting like ice
in my embrace,
when I part the delicate white lace,
baring pale flesh,
and your face
is so close
that I breathe your breath
and your hair surrounds me like a wreath ...
tell me now,
O sweet, sweet lover,
in good faith:
are you the thief
who has stolen my heart?

by Michael R. Burch

Come to me tonight
in the twilight, O, and the full moon rising,
spectral and ancient, will mutter a prayer.

Gather your hair
and pin it up, knowing
that I will release it a moment anon.

We are not one,
nor is there a scripture
to sanctify nights you might spend in my arms,

but the swarms
of stars revolving above us
revel tonight, the most ardent of lovers.

Second Sight
by Michael R. Burch

I never touched you—
that was my mistake.

Deep within,
I still feel the ache.

Can an unformed thing
eternally break?

Now, from a great distance,
I see you again

not as you are now,
but as you were then—

eternally present
and Sovereign.
The wizened old man told me -
sustain the weary with a word
for many a one has none
to bring love and light
into the blight of their dreary days.

I asked which word
and through a wan smile
he said - you figure it out.
Maybe poets are the best ones
to discover and uncover the light
hidden in the weary and the dreary
fray narte Feb 6
I can never walk away from you. Not by the gods who all looked on as I ran out of reasons to make you stay. Not by the forget-me-nots I willed to die under my pillow. Not by the poems you never knew were yours. Between us, I can never be the first one who leaves because I'm terrified — of you, moving on to a life I'm not a part of. I'm terrified of confronting the choking weight of emptiness in cold mornings.

To walk away from this is something I never learned; that is my downfall and your strength. And I guess the difference between us is when I said that I was terrified of you leaving — when I said that I was terrified of losing you, I meant it.

I meant every word of it, my love — I meant every word that you did not.
fray narte Feb 6
You deserve someone who can look pain in the eye — an insignia of heartbreak with your name written all over it; your trembling sighs — like rust, lingering over their rosegold lips, and still, not forget that they love you.
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