You have come with your gift
of black roses for my midnight joy.
Now the house is full of flowers
that die after all, no matter how
I loved them. All of my rooms
are thick with their dying
and I am sad now. Flowers cannot
heal me, yet you keep bringing
these impossible black roses.
(First published in My Best Regret
Mini-chap by Joyce Odam, 2008)
HOW OLD LOVE REMEMBERS
Love is such a hound—
sniffing out the years,
till it finds
the old familiar scent again.
OLD KEY TO OLD LOVE
I will send this key to my old lover—
make him guess. Love is mysterious.
He will wonder what it’s for:
what love . . . ? what door . . . ?
the key—the lock—my heart—all rusted.)
He will unwrap the key with expectation
—turn it in his hand and try to remember
why it seems familiar—
why it keeps growing smaller and smaller
until it becomes a flaking blemish
in the rusty hollow of his palm.
(First published in Poets Forum Magazine, 2007)
MY LOVE WHO IS A DANCER
—Joyce Odam, Sacramento
who is a dancer
unless I tell him to.
But I am silent
as a love
who cannot tell
the true from true.
My legs are numb,
he tells me in my arms
when I have told
the music go.
My arms are strong,
I tell him
so that he will know
I love him still.
(First published in ARX Magazine, 1970)
Later we will say how we were happy,
then permit a silence to fill some space
left open. We will not want admissions
or what passes for comfort zones, seldom
entered. We will gloss over surfaces till they
shine with sincerity, we are that frightened.
THIS LONELY LOVE
It was a far-fetched thing, this lonely love,
made of feathers and cold moonlight,
distant moans from old woes.
How easily they conjured
something to use
Early blames! New contagions!
something simple to believe in—falling
into old patterns because they were familiar.
YOU ARE MY LOVE POEM
You are my love poem
you funny ballet-dancer
and sad-eyed star
How late you are
to my role
I confuse myself with art
and applaud your performance,
write you a fan letter,
(First published in
Red Cedar Review of Colorado, 1993)
Like fate—they converged—from opposites.
what matter, differences? Differences attract.
They would love when fate would permit it,
briefly or forever.
Love was an abstract they believed in.
Neither was ready when it happened—
when the glamour of waiting was over.
Even that sufficed.
—Allegra Silberstein, Davis
Here we are this very day
light streaming through bare branches
tinting them with shades of silver
Here we are this very hour
our tongue awakened spirit
poured into words
Here we are this very minute
fingers curved on our pen
the otherwise of forget
Here we are this very moment
like blossoms opening
Thanks to two of our Valentines, Joyce Odam and Allegra Silberstein, for today's poetry. Allegra writes: Five years ago in 2007 I received my first and the last in a series of Valentine postcards sent by Ted Kooser. He inspired me to start sending Valentine postcards...first I sent only to a few people: family and others who were alone and might be glad for a Valentine...my criteria has expanded and this year I sent about 50 postcards. Happy Valentine's Day!—Allegra