Poems for voting

winged heart clearHere are the poems to vote on, anonymous and in no particular order.
You have until 9am on Valentine’s Day at which point I will have finished ripping open multiple cards, obviously, and have time to consider which poem has the most cards from the voting public.
The contact form has played fast and loose with the formating in some cases so I’ve had to guess: If I have guessed wrong, authors, please alert me quickly and I will correct.
Scroll to the bottom for the voting form.

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Poem 1

(No Title)

I want to be your shadow, to be with you night and day,
You stole my heart, but you can’t take my longing away.
I loved you will all my heart, not thinking we would every part,
but you were untrue, so I wait in vain,
but your shadow upon me will always remain.

winged heart clear

Poem 2

A Whirlwind Romance

She came up to me in a bar
Dark-hair, sunglasses, a tight silk dress
Every inch of her screaming danger.
Bare arms, a tattooed ace – of spades –
On her shoulder, almost discreet,
Cleavage created under a knife,
White teeth, eyes that might have seen
Jesus walking out of the desert.
It was her shoes that convinced
Her scuffed heel a stiletto in my heart
And after two Martinis we took a cab
To the airport. First plane: Cuba.
Now, under the palms she sits
Knowing everything and nothing,
Sipping a banana Daiquiri, as I scan
Sports pages and three-minute eggs.
Replete. My shirt like downy plumage.
It is hot. A man plunges into the pool.
We have no conversation, nothing to say.
The shoes have been cleaned.
Her dress is out of place.
She gazes off into the distance
Across the blue where death and chaos embrace.
Feeling the pull of the smoky haze,
Abandoned cars, the machines given to rust
The thump of bass notes behind smoked glass
Gods skewered on billiard cues.
Neon.
The underworld.
Obols on her eyes.

 winged heart clear

Poem 3
When You Walk Away

The room is hollow
Like my soul
When you walk away.
Is there nothing to make you stay
Beyond a while?
Is there nothing in me
You desire?
Keeper of my misspent fire.
Jester of charm and eloquence.

My heart is in your
Clumsy fist
When you walk away.
Knowing not that it is there,
Carry on without a care,
Cherub’s back with flaxen hair:
When you walk away.

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Poem 4

Will you, Won’t you, Well?

Darling will you still love me when
my hair is lank and stringy,
insecurity has made me clingy,
my flesh drips wrinkled from my bones
and gasps of passion become arthritic moans?

Will you, won’t you, well?

Well can you picture it, surfacing for air
when wheezy lungs and mouldy flesh make sex too much to bear:
will you want me then? Will you?
Will whatever else we have fulfil you?
When years have passed, everything’s been said
and the friends we’ve shared are dead?

Will you, won’t you, well?

Well, will we be enough for each other,
friend and enemy, father and mother,
life entire, self complete, one within another?
Will you still love me then, when
my eyes are dull and you have to shout
before I understand what you are talking about?

And when I’m dead, flesh crumbled, all forgotten,
will you dig me up and love me rotten?

Will you, won’t you, well?

winged heart clear

Poem 5

Weather House

Beginning to think we’ve made a mistake.
After all,
what are we doing here?
Tense and over emphatic;
one too hot intense dramatic
one so cool reserved phlegmatic.
At first sight the symmetry of difference
was appealing
yin and yang’s
Dark and light
loud and quiet a dissonance
Tall and short too, but
we won’t go into that.
But balance is an illusion
each quick to anger it takes
us different ways
one explodes, screams and is done
one festers and smoothes,
indignation buttoned in.
One cries when angry
one shouts when sad
so what are we doing here?
Never eye to eye
sizzling, and cool
stroppy, and contained.
But then, side by side
observing the world
one will make a sardonic quip
the other will burst out laughing
And we are back in true
Together.

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Poem 6

Un-love poem

I tell you, I’m not in love!
I can tell you that straight to your face.
Because your face is everywhere…
In the coffee cup
In the mirror stains as I brush my teeth in the morning,
In the wrinkled bed sheets as I crawl out of bed at night for a glass of water
Not able to sleep.
In my dreams…
You’re following me around like a private detective.

I know I’m being followed, all right.
But I let you be
Hoping you’ll get bored one day and stop playing this silly game.

Sometimes I like having you around.
Like when my heart starts throbbing really fast out of the blue
And when my palms are sweating
And my legs grow weak
And my stomach crunches
And my forehead is covered in droplets of sweat
And a bitter sweet pain engulfs me,
Your face is there, reassuringly…

But most of the times I hate you.
Go away!
I’m not in love, I tell you…

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Poem 7
An Ode For Your Sixtieth Birthday

It can’t be true that you too are sixty
For I see a young woman by my side!
But it is true, for it’s more than forty
Years since on York’s Derwent Bridge I saw glide
A vision, and by beauty was smitten.
You wore an Indian dress, Paris bought,
And stunned me into aching in that hour,
As if by some bird of love I’d been bitten
And in her sweet enchantment I was caught –
So that I am still stunned and aching now.

Looking through pictures of you as a child
I swoon at images of loveliness
And, in photographs of a lifetime filed,
Feel, as if in my flesh, love’s soft caress
In your beauty fully-ripe: there as wife,
And there again, in your mothering phase,
With our children that in your image flower.
So blessed have I been through my life
Since that day when you turned to meet my gaze –
And still your beauty glows now and still now.

But flowers can’t be gathered all the time.
It’s true we’ve shared in ice as well as fire,
And in vinegar – though much more of wine –
And we’ve been low in love as well as high.
But still how brief they seem, those bitter hours
That come and finger like a passing frost,
Turning white all that once was green and grew,
But blighting not the blooming of the flowers
When the dark memory of frost is lost
And summer days return to make things new.

So, yes, now you’re sixty, but still on fire,
Flaming still higher as lover and friend –
For age is not the measure of desire
And nor does beauty on our age depend.
Our journey, it seems, is barely begun,
And Love the map to space and times unknown.
May we freely go where the warm winds tend,
May we sail together into the sun,
May we find in our Love eternal home,
And may our time together never end.

winged heart clear

we have a poem!

Aside

Alrighty, it’s not exactly hotting up, but we do have one entry for the competition. If you have problems with the contact page (apparently its been choking on people’s email, but please try it!) you can private message your entry via facebook. I need at least 2 poems for this to be a competition. Don’t be shy, judging is anonymous, and you can stay that way if you really want. Personally I’m a shout from the rooftops person when it comes to love, poetic or otherwise, but not everyone is as excitable as me.

poetry… please?

Well, that showed me, no one has sent in a poem. What? Love not inspiring you? All in bed with flu like me? Come on! You’ve got almost 13 hours left to show us you love us.

In need of inspiration? Come along to Ealing Library tonight 6.15 for our love-in on a Lesbian & Gay  theme for LGBT History Month – post WWI angst, internet dating for the bewildered, cuckoos in the nest, falling for the boss and love in the osteopath’s treatment room. Stories by Cherry Potts, Paula Read, Catherine Sharpe and Jessica Lott, read by a mix of actors and authors.

Romantic Trysting Spots

Where is your favourite place for spending time with the love of your life? What about it gets you hot and bothered, or meltingly romantic?

Dramatic scenery, intimate eatery, garden, beach, mountain, chocolate shop, theatre, fleapit,hotel, nightclub, pub, market, skating rink, crossroads … what makes for the perfect time out with your beloved?

Thinking about the (possibly world – no stop – don’t get carried away!) tour that will launch Lovers’ Lies, we’d like your thoughts on the best romantic places in the UK (for now, although we apparently have a small fan base in Switzerland…) and what it is that makes them special.

The Brief Encounter clock at Carnforth copyright Cherry Potts 2012

It doesn’t matter if you’ve never been there, or if it seems completely impractical, tell us anyway. It can be the site of a great fictional romance (Carnforth Station! Waterloo Bridge!) name-checked in a famous lovers’ ballad  (Allanwater!) or it can be where you first met your one-and-only, just so long as it’s a real place, and still there, not built on since.

If you think it’d be a great place for a reading tell us that too (especially if it’s somewhere near a literature festival or a really good bookshop), and if you can broker an introduction for us, even better – think of it as a blind date between publisher and venue, the sort of thing where you think they’d be perfect for one another, and with just a little nudge

Give us your suggestions (tweet, ‘comment’ on this post, or use the contact form) and we’ll see which we can make work for us. And if your suggestion ends up being our launch venue, and we’ve got your contact details, you’ll get an invitation to the wedding – sorry – launch.

© Arachne Press