L O V E…

It’s not a dozen scentless hothouse roses.
__It’s not a chocolate-box of sweet cliché.
It’s not the scorching kiss that lust imposes
__To lead the fired and fevered flesh astray.
It’s not an aphrodisiacal dinner
__Or sighs in dizzy highs of fine Champagne.
It’s not a pricy pledge placed on a finger
__If Always means till youth and fervor wane.

It’s words all selfless souls have thought and spoken.
__It’s songs that soar above the spinning sphere.
It’s heaven’s gift, a glorious golden token
__That shines its rays when days are dark and drear.
It’s ears that hear the fear beneath our laughter.
__It’s eyes that warm us when our world is cold.
It’s hands that hold us here and ever after—
__Beyond the age when bones and hope grow old.

It’s never been a borrower or lender;
__Its bliss is given unconditionally.
Its flame burns with a beauty, truth and splendor
__That blazes in the bond that sets us free.
It’s rest when we are weary, lost and lonely.
__It’s peace when here on earth we’re ash and dust.
It’s forever—it’s our cherished one and only—
__Love’s our pleasure… Love’s our savior… Love’s our must.

Originally published in Expansive Poetry Online



A Plea to Aphrodite on Valentine’s Day

Aphrodite, Aphrodite, bless our bed tonight
With a passion wild enough to scorch the sheets.
Aphrodite, Aphrodite, douse us in delight
From our lips to hips to where our interest meets.

Aphrodite, Aphrodite, turn his handsome head
With my nightie so darn light it’s barely there.
Aphrodite, Aphrodite, gloss my grin bright red
Then toss my frightful blight of underwear.

Aphrodite, Aphrodite, make me rather naughty
In my nightie made to make him naughty too.
Aphrodite, Aphrodite, tell us truly, ought we
Have a racy Kama Sutra rendezvous?

Aphrodite, Aphrodite, all this talk of nookie
Leaves my fevered mind and body all at sea.
Aphrodite, Aphrodite, bring us each a cookie
With a hit-the-spot hot pot of steaming tea.



A Senseless Sonnet

She’s prancing with her perfect paramour.
I think he favors Darwin’s missing link.
She says he knocks her socks off—rocks her core.
I hope he keeps his on—his foul feet stink.
The nauseating tootsies of her beau
Don’t taint her dainty nostrils with their funk.
Since passion’s flame has set her heart aglow
Her sniffer can’t detect a fetid skunk.
His aggravating drone assaults the ear,
But she can only hear his lilting tone.
And when he burps then slurps his umpteenth beer
Her lips don’t gripe or grumble, grouse or groan.

I knew that love was blind, now I can tell
It’s also deaf and dumb and cannot smell!



Susan Jarvis Bryant is a church secretary and poet whose homeland is Kent, England.  She is now an American citizen living on the coastal plains of Texas.  Susan has poetry published in the UK webzine, Lighten Up On Line, The Daily Mail, and Openings (anthologies of poems by Open University Poets).

NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets.

The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or commentary.

CODEC Stories:

22 Responses

  1. James Sale

    There is a wit and genius in this; I love your structures and repetitions, and slow build-ups, sort of orgasmic in their very artistic way! Well done.

  2. Paul Freeman

    Three wonderful poems, Susan.

    Must say, though, ‘nookie’ may leave some readers scratching their loafs.

    • Gail

      Loafs! Might make some people scratch their heads. (I learned a new word! Thank you, thank you, thank you.)

    • Joseph S. Salemi

      “Nookie” (for sex) is American slang from the 1930s and 40s. It’s curious that a Brit would know this term.

      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        Joe S., I thought it went perfectly with ‘cookie’ and the theme of the poem. I don’t know the exact origin of the word ‘nookie’, but when I was in my teens, a ventriloquist called Roger De Courcey and his coarse-mouthed puppet, Nookie Bear, took England by storm. My grandmother kindly and gleefully told me the meaning of the bear’s name. At the time, I had no idea what an impact that naughty little bear would have on my poetry. lol

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you very much, Paul. As for ‘nookie’ and ‘loaf’… I’ve found there’s no end to the treasure trove of linguistic gems if I tap the recesses of my filbert. 😉

  3. Russel Winick

    These are all fine poems, Susan. “Aphrodisiacal dinner”? I’ll have what they’re having!

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you, Russel, for your lovely comment and the reminder of that hilarious scene!

  4. Jeff Eardley

    Susan, you have done it again, that is, causing me to splutter in my coffee whilst reading “Aphrodite” before heading for a cold shower and then a spell of self-flagellation with birch twigs.
    “Love” is one of those enduring works that my mother and her generation would have savoured.
    It should be the only message in every Valentine card from now on.
    I can identify with “Darwin’s missing link” in the Sonnet as it applies to most of my friends. You have reminded me to go and tidy the sock drawer.
    I might just give “Aphrodite” another go when it goes dark, and as for “nookie”….in your dreams grandad! Thanks for lighting up another dark day.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Jeff, I’m glad my poems shone a little light in the UK darkness. You won’t believe this, but our little town in Texas has ground to a halt. A ‘big freeze’ is on it’s way, and after a night of electricity outages and fear of the pipes freezing, we have woken up to a dusting of snow. This has closed shops, restaurants and my office. I am smiling as I cast my mind back to days in England when I battled my way through knee-deep snow to my car and braved an ice-slick journey on treacherous roads to get to work. You know the saying, ‘everything is bigger in Texas’ ~ the snowmen are of miniature proportions… tiny little midget ones that are now calling out for me to build them! I feel fun coming on. 🙂

      • Jeff Eardley

        Susan, yes, your unusual weather has featured on our news today. I hope the hummingbirds find shelter, and good luck with the snowmen.

  5. Norma Okun

    Love is proud need, someone better than me wrote that. A true poet. Your poems show a lot we don’t need and therefore love still is love looking to be a source of our completeness. Your humor is exquisite.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Cynthia, I’m thrilled you like that line… it’s a line that could lead candy stores into liquidation. lol

  6. C.B. Anderson

    Great stuff as usual, Susan. The reason that your poems are almost always so funny is that they are true and never silly. You are Mort Sahl funny; it’s called a mordant wit.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      C.B., thank you very much. I had not heard of Mort Sahl and had to do a bit of googling. I’m glad I did and I’m proud to be compared to such a wit.

  7. David Watt

    Susan, your extension of blind love to include several more senses is both accurate and humorous.

    The concluding stanza of your second poem is a great way to bring things back to earth. The combination of a cookie and a steaming pot of tea is a
    fitting reflection of your American home and your British heritage.

    In Australia we also know exactly what a ‘nookie’ is.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      David, thank you for dropping by to read my aspects of love poetry… I’m thrilled I entertained you, and that you know exactly what ‘nookie’ is. lol. I would like to know if Australians love tea as much as the British. The only tea Texas revels in is iced tea. This is still alien to me, and I cannot face a crisis without a steaming pot of English Breakfast or Assam.

  8. Dave Whippman

    I pity the lady in “A Senseless Sonnet” when she falls out of love and regains her sense of smell! Well written.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      … and when she’s taken the rose-coloured spectacles off and can hear him slurping his ale too, what a tragic and rude awakening! Thank you for my Sunday evening laugh, Mr. Whippman. 🙂


Leave a Reply to Susan Jarvis Bryant Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.