.

Could it be Love?

a pantoum

My wits are kissed. Could it be love?
My brain is drained of all but you.
I’m cuckoo as a cooing dove.
I have an over-rosy view.

My brain is drained of all but you.
A giggle tickles tipsy lips.
I have an over-rosy view.
My skin sings songs of fingertips.

A giggle tickles tipsy lips.
My thoughts trip on the edge of blue.
My skin sings songs of fingertips.
Is this just lust or is it true?

My thoughts trip on the edge of blue.
My days are dipped in fairy dust.
Is this just lust or is it true?
My heart’s a tad too high to trust.

My days are dipped in fairy dust.
I’m cuckoo as a cooing dove.
My heart’s a tad too high to trust…
My wits are kissed. Could it be love?

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Like Inca Doves 

The hummingbirds and monarchs splash the air
With razzle-dazzle ripples of panache.
They guzzle from hibiscus blooms that blare
Their lemon-trumpet tune – their tease and flash.
The butterflies of fancy-patterned wing
All flitter in the glitter of the noon,
As busy gems of buzzy-feathered zing
Explode in emerald green and hot maroon.

Above I spy two snuggled Inca doves.
Their muted beauty dims the gaudy show.
Their sober garb of dusty silver shoves
All glitz aside. Their quiet, cozy glow
Ignites my mind with tenderness we share
Behind the blinds, beyond the dash and glare.

First published in The Lyric

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Susan Jarvis Bryant has poetry published on Lighten Up Online, Snakeskin, Light, Sparks of Calliope, and Expansive Poetry Online. She also has poetry published in TRINACRIA, Beth Houston’s Extreme Formal Poems anthology, and in Openings (anthologies of poems by Open University Poets in the UK). Susan is the winner of the 2020 International SCP Poetry Competition, and has been nominated for the 2022 Pushcart Prize.


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34 Responses

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you very much, Paul. I loved writing ‘Inca Doves’ – I did my research for that poem amid the wonders of nature. Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

      Reply
  1. Paul Freeman

    I really enjoyed the pantoum, especially considering the degree of difficulty (I’m sounding like a skating judge).

    Then again, lines like ‘…razzle-dazzle ripples of panache,’ make for a colourful, sonnet, full of fine imagery.

    Thanks for the reads, Susan.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you, Paul. The pantoum and the sonnet were labours of love. Happy Valentine’s Day!

      Reply
  2. Jeff Eardley

    Susan, from someone who used to get a Valentine card from his mother who took pity on me, it would have been wonderful to get one with either, or both of these superbly crafted pieces. The best I ever got was NORWICH which I don’t want to go into here.
    Have a great day tomorrow.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Aww, thank you Jeff. Happy Valentine’s Day to you! You’ve now got me intrigued on the NORWICH front… I feel I’m missing something naughty, funny, and British… I fear I’ve been away too long.

      Reply
      • Jeff Eardley

        Nickers Off Ready When I Come Home…keep it to yourself!!!

      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        Gosh, Jeff, what a raunchy little acronym. If Norwich was spelt with a “K”, I would have worked it out instantly. 😉

  3. Brian A Yapko

    “Could it be love?” Of course it could, Susan! How fortunate Mike is to have a consummate artist forever at his side writing blissful, romantic words. I adore both of these poems. The pantoum is indeed splendidly conceived and executed with a slightly saucy tone that is just right for young love. I especially enjoy the line “My thoughts trip on the edge of blue.” Subtle and unsubtle and sensual and coy and so sweet.

    “Like Inca Doves” is a gorgeous sonnet as we flit with these sweet birds through a bouquet of linguistic delights, all peppered with alliteration and chewy, tongue-tickling word combinations. My favorite line is “They guzzle from hibiscus blooms that blare” which has a lovely Tennyson-like sound to it in its tongue-twisting joy. Both of these poems have left a big smile on my face. Happy Valentines Day, Susan!

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Brian, what a beautiful comment… it’s Valentine’s Day music to my ears… a poem in itself – “…a lovely Tennyson-like sound to it in its tongue-twisting joy” is high praise indeed, and I’m reveling in its spotlight like an insufferable diva! I’m thrilled you like my saucy pantoum… but Brian, do I detect a hint of ageism in your mellifluous tone? That’s pure me and Mike in that poem, and we’re no spring chickens. 😉 Seriously, thank you very much indeed! Here’s wishing you a lovestruck Valentine’s Day that’s as cuckoo as a cooing dove.

      Reply
  4. Joshua C. Frank

    Susan, I love these, especially the pantoum. I do enjoy a good pantoum, and the form is perfect for the concept. Well done!

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      I really appreciate this, Josh. I know how much you love French forms and I’m thrilled I hit the right note with this one. Here’s wishing you a beautiful Valentine’s Day!

      Reply
  5. Mark Stellinga

    A really fine pair, Susan. Had to take quite a while to build these 2 beauties. Have you had any books of verse published? If not, you certainly should 🙂 Great job, Mark

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Mark, thank you very much for your kind comment. I am one of those poets who writes poems quickly… too quickly for my own good at times. I’m constantly editing. I’m published in anthologies but have no books of my own… yet. Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

      Reply
  6. Sally Cook

    Dear Susan,

    These poems are so much fun ! Wings sing and tumble in the air of both ~
    May I also say that your words gyre and gimble ?
    Lovely.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Dear Sally, I love your glorious comment… it’s made me go all mimsy. I wish you a frabjous Valentine’s Day! Callooh! Callay!”

      Reply
  7. Norma Pain

    Two beautiful poems for Valentine’s Day. I love them both, especially the pantoum which, when read aloud, teasingly tickles the lips and tongue. Lots of fun. Thank you Susan.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Norma, thank you very much indeed… I love your smattering of delicious alliteration. A happy Valentine’s Day to you!

      Reply
  8. David John Etchell

    brill — err Shouldn’t all proper Valentine poems all start——— roses are red violets are blue?

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Dave, you’re right!

      Roses are red
      Violets are blue
      Poetry’s hard
      Armadillo!

      Here’s wishing you a Valentine’s Day full of roses, violets, Pol Roger and Armadillos. 😉

      Reply
  9. Joseph S. Salemi

    “Like Inca Doves” is like a gaudy barbarian crown, studded with every kind of fiery-colored gem. And it ends with two lovers closing the blinds, and reader left to imagine the riot of sensual experience that will follow.

    Happy Valentine’s Day, Susan!

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Joe, I love your magnificent view of my poem… a superlative simile that has shone a few hot rays of Texas sunshine on my Valentine’s Day afternoon. A very happy Valentine’s Day to you!

      Reply
  10. Roy Eugene Peterson

    I had to research the Inca Dove and discovered that they have migrated in recent years from the Rio Grande valley to as far north as Houston. The name of “Inca” is appropriate, since when they get cold, they stack themselves in the sun in pyramids three birds high. Your inner rhymes and alliterations are some of the things that set your poetry apart and make them must reads. “Like Inca Doves” resonates for Valentine’s Day. I know you will have a happy one with Mike.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Roy, thank you so much for this intriguing information. I adore Inca doves. When I first saw them, I fell in love with them instantly. I had no idea they stacked themselves in pyramids when chilly. I do know they have russet underwings and that they make the noise of a rattlesnake when they take off… and they have the most beautiful ruby eyes. They frequent our backyard during certain months… I only hope we get some chill weather so I can witness the wonder of an Inca dove pyramid. Roy, thank you for your kind words. It’s Valentine’s Day every day for me and Mike… I am a very lucky lady. Here’s wishing you a happy Valentine’s Day.

      Reply
  11. James Sale

    Beautiful work, Susan – and as for the word Inca, as in Inca doves, there is a range of very deep connotations, including the fact that deep love always requires deep sacrifice however peaceful the present moment may be! Love it.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      James, what beautiful words… and how true they are. I believe deep love is deeply rewarding and deeply demanding… and a divine gift. I’m thrilled you like my poem and wish you a very happy Valentine’s Day!

      Reply
  12. Russel Winick

    No books yet? You must have a big enough stockpile for six books! These two, like so many of your others, are both magnificent. Pleasure and a free education for me.

    Reply
  13. Margaret Coats

    Susan, when you publish, please put Mike’s Inca doves (from Valentine’s Day last year) on the facing page to yours. They make a valuable Valentine’s contrast of poets in love. The pantoum is very well done, and shows how important a good first line is for this kind of lyric. “Wits are kissed” could easily be a tongue-twister as it leads off to a realm of articulate unreason.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Margaret, thank you very much for this wonderful idea… Inca dove love it is. Mike’s beautiful poem alongside mine sounds perfect. I had huge fun writing the pantoum and you’re right on the tongue-twisting front… I especially like your term, ” a realm of articulate unreason”… I’m determined to travel there regularly.

      Reply

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