. 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).