O, Where Is Love?

by James A. Tweedie

O, where is love? You’ll find it in the pain
_That binds a mother to her newborn child;
_In bitter-broken friendships reconciled;
_And in the kiss of lovers in the rain;
In being kind and offering a smile
_To hardened hearts too cynical to care;
_In making right something that was unfair
_And taking time to go the extra mile.
O, where is love? A Golden Rule? A creed?
_It’s close at hand and isn’t hard to find.
_It’s in our heart, our soul, our strength, and mind,
_A counterpoint to selfishness and greed.
To love your neighbor is not hard to do;
Just do what you would have them do to you.



Love that Lasts

by James A. Tweedie

The flame-impassioned kiln of lust burns hot;
_Incendiary fireworks of heart
_And thigh; an all-embracing juggernaut
_Of lovers self-consumed by Eros’ dart.
Fair reason and good common-sense are slain
_In darkness; frequent deep regrets at dawn
_When cooling ashes are all that remain
_Of faux-felt, fickle love, now dead and gone.
Such love, when not rekindled, fades away,
_Temporal and ephemeral at best.
_But love which puts the other first each day
_Will burn the brightest and outlast the rest.
True love is not based solely on the thrill,
But reaffirmed each day by force of will.



Aspects of Love (let me count the ways)

by Susan Jarvis Bryant

Some say love resides in the reddest of roses
and fizz in two flutes of Champagne;
on a knee by the sea where a honey proposes
and in the refrain of the rain.

Some say love’s pizzazz lives in dazzling diamonds
and tulle-and-lace trips down the aisle;
in the blaze of amazing, sun-gazing horizons
that light dismal days with a smile.

Some say that love blossoms in silken seduction
of chic, barely-there underwear,
‘neath the stare of the stars and the moon-dappled jasmine
that perfumes the warm midnight air.

Some say that love nestles in chocolates and flowers
that celebrate marital ties,
with the lift that a gift brings to mark all those hours
that sparkle in each other’s eyes.

Some say that love dwells in the loneliest places
and catches scarred hearts unaware;
and erases all sorrows with glorious graces,
embracing the broken with care.

Some say that the bliss of sweet kisses and laughter
exists in things money can’t buy.
Some say a Ferrari buys love ever after
for a flush-with-cash, flash kinda guy.

I say that love’s blind and a cute Casanova
may hide a snide toad beneath charm.
If he’s haughty and warty get rid of that rover
before your heart heads towards harm.

I say that love’s deaf to a smarmy Lothario
whose schmoozing leads damsels astray;
and it’s dumb when it comes to a rollicking Romeo
with a wink and a wilting bouquet…

so, beware this St. Valentine’s Day!



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7 Responses

  1. Joseph S. Salemi

    These are all nicely crafted poems for St. Valentine’s Day.

    About Bryant’s poem: regardless of how one chooses to scan it (there are a number of possible ways), it moves along with a steady and delightful rhythm. My tendency is to hear a dactylic beat ( / x x ) at the core of it:

    Some say that love dwells in the loneliest places
    and catches scarred hearts unaware

    (x / x x / x x / x x / x)

    (x / x x / x x /)

    I hear the three strong dactyls in the first line, and the two strong dactyls in the second. Bryant maintains this powerful rhythm throughout the poem. Other more exacting metricists, like my friend Kip Anderson, will read both lines as beginning with an iamb, and then read the remaining part of the line in a different metrical signature. So, for example, the second line could be scanned an an iamb followed by two anapests.

    James Tweedie’s “Love that Lasts” brought to mind the Circle of the Carnal Sinners in Dante’s Inferno, where those who are condemned for sexual license are swept up in a swirling cyclone — a condign punishment for their inability to control their physical passions. And the words “faux-felt, fickle love” make a striking alliteration.

    • Susan J Bryant

      Mr. Salemi, I appreciate your spot on analysis. When I was writing it I was fully aware of the different ways it could be read and decided, after much deliberation, to stick with word choice above meter. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      Happy Valentine’s Day!

  2. Mike Bryant

    Three lovely poems for Valentine’s Day… with probity and humour. Susan I do love Your beautiful humour.

  3. C.B. Anderson

    In “Love that Lasts” you touch on a very important point (in the final couplet) that is almost universally misunderstood: Love is not a feeling (though it entails all sorts of feelings), but an act of will.

    And, Susan,

    As usual, a delightfully complex and humorous reflection/confection. You have an extraordinary gift for unifying the light and the deadly serious.

    • Susan J Bryant

      Mr. Anderson, you have managed to sum up my poetry succinctly and perfectly. Thank you very much for you fine eye and appreciation.

      Happy Valentine’s Day!

  4. Susan J Bryant

    Mr. Tweedie, your poems are admirably crafted, perceptive and beautiful. It’s a privilege to be published on the same page as you. Happy Valentine’s Day!


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