Yesterday, we put out a call on social media for a 24-hour writing challenge: write a poem for Valentine’s Day, send it in, and we’ll publish the best ones online.
We got lots of great poems: confessions of love, laments, dedications, pieces decrying Valentine’s and verse embracing and celebrating it.
We’re delighted to bring you new work from Antoinette Rock, Fred Van’t Sand, Marion Clarke, Cathal Gunning, Trish Bennett, Darren Reihill and Neil Slevin.
Happy reading, and Happy Valentine’s Day!
Antoinette Rock : Ophrys Apifera
older than Christ
once washed by a
holds with promise
of a hot sun
blinding and white
to bear bee blossoms
– I offer you.
Fred Van’t Sand : Janey and freddy are sweethearts still.
i mean potential lovers
to do that,
you know, become lovers,
there has to be a joining,
a growing into each other.
For that to happen,
the meshing and stuff,
there needs to be a feral kind of spark,
an algae pond
for tadpoles, blood and water and bone.
When I met you I tingled.
I don’t know what you thought of me, but we met again.
So if I were a field,
and you were a plum, just hanging around…
I would like you
to mesh with me.
Marion Clarke : haiku
carved oak . . .
does the old swing
Cathal Gunning : The Word Soul
(For Orlaith, forever and always)
For the 1stime I take the time to brush my teeth with care
Never thought I’d want to live as long I can
A human explosion of passion and young fury untamed and
And you’re all smiles and so smart and unafraid and laughing and
(Unable to fake it at all)
And you say I said something smart
And all I recall hearing was my heart
And I walk past trying to recall it all and the fat black cat paws at the back of my heel
and I can see the appeal of a black cat after all
This’s just wh@ I was trying to say to you earlier
And last night, this morning, every twilight dusk evening witching and early hours,
An eternity of snow at the waterfall, unexpected and inevitable and hard to handle and
A gift from God, one and only,
A rose gold costume ring on perfect hands and pale blue Docs on tiny feet
All of my heart is with you always
All of me is yours
Live to be mine; all the living I do is for you
RE. Calling the c@ “Pigeon”- TH@’s a good bit.
And it really could happen, too.
Trish Bennett : Biker Bits
His voice, the way he says ‘fuck’,
a barrister against my brogue.
His eyes, a still lake on a damp day
smiling back at my reflection.
His hands, always able to fix the remains
of my ‘hammer-action’ mode.
His brain, the way he can filter my ‘blah’
with modest intelligence.
His soul at peace, making chairs from oil drums
or wine bottle lights in his shed
His arms, that appear around me
when our sky falls
Himself, in his helmet and leathers
powering down that road.
Darren Reihill : ‘They’d always been together’
They’d always been together.
They’d known it
their entire lives
but it took them a while.
Before they met
she used to count sheep
as he dressed as a man
in wool clothing.
Before they talked
he burnt old pages
while she dreamed
of reading the news.
Before they spoke
they’d say nothing
as their families
stretched the future.
They were ready.
Neil Slevin : Your Face
I’ve never seen your face undressed,
you, stripped of the layers between us
built up by time and space
but I have caught those glimpses,
the light that you let fall to earth,
like penny drizzle from astral hands,
to ignite my nomad heart,
lull my mind.