My Lips Have Kissed Her

My lips have kissed her lips. Now I know why
the timid sun arises with each day.
I understand what moves the birds to fly
and why the trees within the breezes sway.

My lips have kissed her lips. I can’t deny
that it has moved me to my very soul.
The rules of intellect do not apply.
One kiss, and I have lost all self control.

My lips have kissed her lips. I must comply
with wishes that my heart cannot ignore.
My feelings now can surely justify
that I go back and ask her lips for more.



When Sorrow Comes

When Sorrow comes to sit with me,
she often brings with her the rain.
And though she speaks of misery,
she holds my hand to ease my pain.

She’s never sanctimonious.
She’s always kind as she can be.
She guards my heart from loneliness,
and soothes my soul to some degree.

When Sorrow comes, the skies turn grey,
but only for a little while.
For when she’s up and on her way,
she always leaves me with a smile.



Dave D. Irby is a retired law enforcement officer and a U.S. Air Force veteran, currently living in Halifax, VA.

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10 Responses

  1. Sally Cook

    Dear David —
    They are both excellent and evocative. My favorite is “My Lips Have Kissed Her”, in that there are no unanswered or ambiguous questions.
    To me, the second is marred by the last two lines. It seems incongruous to me that Sorrow leaves one with a smile, just to create a rhyme. You are not obvious but this rhyme is. Perhaps you might consider changing the end rhymes? The rest of the poem is too good to leave it that way.
    I hope to see more of your work.

      • Sally Cook

        Perhaps so, David, if it is the writer smiling at Sorrow’s departure. But as you can see, the ambiguity remains.
        Still love the first poem, however.

  2. Cynthia Erlandson

    I salute you, sir, both for your good poetry and for your service to our nation.

  3. Paul Freeman

    Deceptively simple in their form, these poems have much to say.

    Thanks for the reads, Dave.

    • 從綠山

      At the foot of the hill where beauty’s garment

      first clothed that lady with earthly members,

      This reveals the divine nature of Petrarch’s love. It is love for a divine being incarnate.

      This poem bespeaks of the same love from a human standpoint. Being in the flesh, it is semi-divine.

  4. Margaret Coats

    These poems both start off as light love lyrics, but with the little flip the poet gives each in the last lines, they are very far from trite. Each ending reminds the reader to pay careful attention to language. For me, that meant doing a second reading right away, to make sure I appreciated each word and didn’t miss anything.

    I’m not quite sure what the gentleman from Green Mountain means about a reference to Petrarch. I don’t see any specific one to the canzone where the link goes. Petrarch does well express the general feeling that love changes everything, but his personal sorrow and loss of self-control seem much more complex than what David Irby expresses here. Still, Petrarch’s influence on love poetry continues to the present day, transmitted to us especially through the English sonneteers. From my point of view, Irby’s work seems more like theirs than like Petrarch’s. The simple, careful diction with a touch of humor is admirable.


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