Sometimes we seem at different poles
North winds blow across a frozen heart
While southern breezes boil the blood
Yet we are ever joined as one
Combustible, angry, confused and hurt
Feeling wrenching loss of familial love
Sometimes hurt festers like a canker sore
It wants to heal and yet it won’t
Too much has happened to recant
Guilt picks away at closing scabs
And healing, coveted, will not be heeded
However much wanted and needed
Sometimes, so many sometimes
We yearn for days of yore
Life was simple, love unconditional
And trust as sweet as apple pie
Sometimes our lives seem to normalize
Until leaves wafting on uncertain winds
Drift away, leaving distrust behind
And the vicious cycle begins again
Sometimes I reminisce those days
And my heart quickens with yearning
An optimistic, eternal soul
Sees that love again reborn
And I can almost see it myself . . . sometimes
A PUZZLING ROMANCE
Caitlin with the carrot-colored hair
Went off to visit a witch so fair.
Seeking help, her problem, profound.
The witch’s familiar was a Basset Hound!
“What? No black cat?” Caitlin asked.
“Sadly, my cat was possessed! Aghast,
A corrupt thing, most surely demonized.
So I changed her into this hound so fine.”
“What, my sweet, might I do for you?”
While cooing to her grey morning dove.
“I have looked far and wide,” the lass replied.
“But cannot find my one true love.”
The witch rose to stir her cauldron stew
Dug deep into a magical, tapestry bag
And handed Caitlin a Rubik’s cube
Which made the lovelorn girl quite mad!
“I beseech your help and receive a toy?”
“Ah, my beauty, it will bring you joy.
“For when solved, the Rubik’s squares,
Will bring the one for whom you care.”
The witchcraft worked on the very first try,
As Caitlin sat alone in the park.
A handsome, dark-eyed man ambled by
And made a quizzical remark.
“Excuse me Miss,” he said and sat
Beside her on the wooden bench.
“You seem to need a hand with that.”
His eyes took in the lovely wench.
Moments passed with no retreat,
As he twisted, turned, then it was done.
The Rubik’s cube was now complete
Caitlin sighed, her heartstrings sung.
Far in the distance howled a sound
From a most special Basset Hound.
The witch pulled up her blood-red cowl
And smiled; true love once more, found.
Micki Peluso’s writing career began with a personal tragedy that led to a career in journalism. She’s published short fiction and non-fiction, as well as slice of life stories in five anthologies, magazines and ezines. . . .AND THE WHIPPOORWILL SANG is an award-winning, funny family memoir of love, loss and survival. She is currently finishing a collection of short slice of life stories and essays, in a book called, ‘Don’t Pluck the Duck.’
Damn Love by Kenneth Weene
“Damn love.” Billy hoists his Guinness, drains, clanks the glass on the bar, wipes his mouth with the back of his hand, and belches.
“Damn, damn love,” he repeats and finishes his drink.
“Your knuckles,” his drinking buddy points at Billy’s right hand.
“What about ‘em?” Billy slurs.
“You been in a fight?”
“Nah. Teachin’ the old lady a lesson.”
“You beat on Trish?”
“Hey, you don’t think I feel bad? Why the hell do you think I’m drinkin’ with you instead of in the tumble with her? I feel terrible. But she wanted it, Mike; I’m tellin’ you, she wanted it.”
“No woman wants that, Bill,” Tad, the bartender interjects. “I don’t care what she did, I’d never use my fists on my girl.”
“I tell you she wanted it. Asked for it. Fuckin’ dared me.”
“So you came home and there’s your woman, Trish, and she says, ‘Hey Billy, hit me. Give me a good one in the chops.’ Right?” The bartender wields a dirty rag over a spill.
“Might as well. Might as well.”
A knot of guys has gathered. One asks, “She all right?”
Another, “She need to go to the hospital?”
“Did she call the cops?”
Billy doesn’t reply. “Another beer.”
“Sure.” Tad holds the glass under the tap and yanks. “So did she or didn’t she?” he asks as he sets it down.
“Did she or didn’t she what?”
“Tell you to fuckin’ hit her. Is that what she said?”
“Nah, not what she said. It ain’t words; it’s feelin’s. Like sometimes you just know. I come home and there’s somethin’ wrong, somethin’ the matter. She ain’t started dinner. She’s just lookin’ out the window.
“I ask her who ya lookin’ for. But she don’t answer. So I ask her again.
“’You really want to know?’ That’s what she says. ‘You really want to know?’
“Hell no! I don’t want to know. I just know. Know what I mean?
“Damn love. I wish I didn’t love her so much.”
“I know what you mean.” Mike claps his buddy on the shoulder, slips off his stool and out the door. He’s not sure what to say, not to Billy and not to Trish. Why hadn’t he shown up? “Damn love,” he thinks, “too fuckin’ complicated.”
Frequently a contrarian, Ken Weene on occasion turns to the noir for this flash story of love. For more of his writings, visit http://www.kennethweene.com
Love is essentially indefinable.
It is a desire to be with someone, of course. It is mental, emotional, spiritual. It is a feeling that without that person you are incomplete. It is both ownership and belonging, independence and reliance; it is a certainty that the person you love knows who you are, that they appreciate the good, bad or indifferent, that they get everything or nothing at all.
What appears to be missing from most relationships is the sense that you should operate as one, even though you are entirely different. It is an understanding that if some outside force threatens the stability of the relationship, you don’t blame one another, you instead stand back-to-back and face the world, defending and protecting one another, being true to one another, accepting that even though one of you may have made a mistake it really is insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
Love is kindness, compassion, tolerance, a sense of familiarity and a willingness to discover new things every day. It is seeing someone as if for the first time and taking time to remember all the reasons you chose to be with them. It is seeing their oddities, their idiosyncrasies, their foibles and flaws and loving them for those things just as much as everything else. It is knowing when they are tired, when they are frustrated, when they need to be alone, when they need you beside them even when there’s something else you’re meant to be doing. It’s the unexpected caress, the unexpected gift, a few whispered words of real tenderness. It’s the poem you wrote, even though it was kind of dumb. It’s the homemade anniversary card, even after twenty years together. It’s bringing back flowers, even though you forgot the butter and the eggs you were sent to buy. It’s finishing one another’s sentences, and then finally finishing one another’s thoughts with just a glance or a knowing smile.
It’s a sense that without this person life doesn’t really make any sense at all.
Most of all it’s true companionship, the knowledge that even though it’s never really possible to know someone fully, the person you’re with knows you better than anyone else, and adores you despite all.
And when you find that someone—or think you’ve that found someone—the whole world is too small to stop you reaching them.
And that, I think, is love.
RJ Ellory is the author of thirteen novels, the most recent entitled Mockingbird Songs. His books have won multiple prizes and are available in twenty-six languages. Ellory is also the guitarist and vocalist of The Whiskey Poets. He was born in Birmingham, U.K., and continues to make this his home.
SEVEN LOVE POEMS TO MY SHARON
A pop-up sun,
A drop-down moon
The two of us
tears of sad angels
from handkerchief clouds
God’s loud voice
but the flowers
They call the rain
If love is real
it never becomes a ghost
bumping into dark walls
of houses haunted by sorrow
True love thrives
beyond green seasons
It leaps the fence
dividing life and death
and it dances to the tune of forever
in a field of red-rose petals
we ignore the chocolates
in all their inviting shapes
that tempt us sweetly
from the sidelines
together we sing love songs
below a red-ball sun
hiding behind heart-shaped clouds
we finger-write “I love you”
across each other’s palm
If only I could teach
to recite poetry
so one day
when this voice
I may go on
the woman I love,
from the heart.
Maybe one day
love will grow old,
wilt like parade roses,
rust like a treasure-house key
and all the world will speak of it
with painful nostalgia
or regret or darkest sorrow
the way mourners cast their lines
into the waters of time
delighting in the tug
of remembered lost moments,
the years reeled in like old tires
and fish long dead,
memories of a once enduring love
now flat-lined and still,
something to say goodbye to.
The last parting word
has not been said.
When that last word comes,
it will float light and airy,
like a love bird’s feather.
It will trip off these lips
like a spring breeze.
It will gush from a mouth
tired of speaking.
It will sing praises
in that final moment,
A single-word aria:
Sal Buttaci is the author of two flash-fiction collections, Flashing My Shorts and 200 Shorts. His book A Family of Sicilians… has been called “the best book written about Sicilians.”
He lives in West Virginia with Sharon the love of his life.
Coffee for Two
By Cynthia B. Ainsworthe
I stood waiting for my order. The clerk smiled functionally behind the counter as she gave me my change. She took no notice of me nor I of her. My mind was on a presentation I would be giving in a few hours at a prestigious advertising agency. After the divorce, career advancement was nearly as important as being a mom to three teenaged children.
Reaching for a wooden coffee stirrer, a strange hand touched mine briefly. A low and familiar voice came from behind me. “So sorry. I didn’t mean to rush you.” A glance to his face, and then his deep navy eyes caught my attention. Thoughts of the past whirled around me, an onslaught of smiles, tears, precious moments. His hand remained on mine a bit too long. Could he be feeling the same remote recognition of some kind? Am I seeing an identity in him that’s not there? A long forgotten remembrance buried for my own sanity?
“No problem,” I answered to his comment.
“Don’t I know you?” He began to move toward a vacant table for two. “Your face is so familiar to me.”
“I’m not certain.” I fidgeted with the purse strap. Could it be? Was it him after all these years? “They say there’s always a double for everyone, somewhere.”
His smile was warm and friendly. “Well, we could always find out over our coffees.”
Sitting down opposite him, the memories come flooding back in a torrent. I wondered why he never answered my letters.
He adjusted his seat. “I wrote many letters, and never received an answer. It’s been over thirty years and I still think of you. If you are who I think you are, why did you break it off with me?”
“You’re Tyler? Tyler York?” He nodded. “You never wrote to me. I sent you many letters and thought you were no longer interested.”
He chuckled. “The damned war. Our letters must’ve never gotten through.” His hand reached for mine. “After all this time, all this lost time, and now to reconnect.” He sighed. “Are you married?”
“Divorced. Three teenaged children.” My gaze searched his eyes for truth. “And you?”
“Still single.” His eyes moistened. “You see, when I had met the perfect girl, none of the others measured up.”
He squeezed my hand and reassured my heart.
Multiple award-winner, Cynthia B. Ainsworthe writes romantic fiction novels and short stories, and she has also published a spicy and sensual cookbook. Cynthia is currently working with Hollywood screenwriter, producer, and director, Scott C Brown to adapt her first novel, Front Row Center for screen. A retired cardiac RN turned-author, Cynthia lives in Florida with her husband and their five poodle-children.
by Patricia Dusenbury
“Please. Please. Please.” His desperate cry tailed off, and James Brown fell to his knees.
The music stopped; you could have heard a pin drop in that auditorium. One of the band rushed forward and draped a purple cloak over the trembling singer.
James struggled to his feet. He grabbed the microphone. “Please,” he whispered.
The audience roared. People leapt to their feet, waving their arms and dancing in place.
“Fantastic.” Sandra leaned against Mike. “What a show.”
Their preppy clothes and pale faces stood out in the crowd, but she wasn’t the only woman violating college rules by being here. And everyone was friendly. It didn’t feel the least bit dangerous. “I’m glad we came.”
In the ladies room during intermission, a woman was selling Dixie cups half filled with a thick pink liquid. She caught Sandra’s eye. “Sloe gin, only a dollar.”
Sandra handed her a dollar, took a sip and choked when the liquor hit her throat.
The woman chuckled. “Add soda, Baby. Then drink it.”
Back at her seat, Sandra stirred the sloe gin into a Coke. She still felt every swallow, but now it tasted good, like Dr. Pepper. Mike thought it tasted like cough syrup.
“All the more for me,” she said.
When the show ended, they hurried back to the car in case the neighborhood really was dangerous. They had an hour until her curfew, so Mike drove down by the river. Still exhilarated by the music and the crowd, they watched clouds drift across the moon. Mike pushed the seat back and pulled her close.
“Please, please, please,” he sang.
“Please,” she whispered.
Mike sat across the table, reading the newspaper. Sandra studied his hands, their knuckles swollen with arthritis. How she loved those hands.
“Our children are planning a fiftieth anniversary party,” she said. “Lisa asked if they had to play James Brown. She understands ‘nostalgia for the music of our youth’ but doesn’t think James Brown is very romantic.”
Mike looked up. “What did you tell her?
“I said, ‘Please.’”
Patricia Dusenbury swears that “James Brown” is autobiographical only to the extent that she was at the concert. A year would pass before she met the man she was to marry. Decades would pass before she and her husband realized that they’d both been at the concert. That realization inspired this short story.
Patricia writes prize-winning mystery novels with an element of romance. ‘A House of Her Own’ will be released October 16.
WEB PAGE: http://www.PatriciaDusenbury.com
Clayton Bye is a writer, editor and publisher. With 18 books to his credit and another 15 in the pipeline, he has written about many subjects and has explored many writing styles, one of them poetry. The following poems are selected from his published works. You may find his poetry book What I Found in the Dark athttp://shop.claytonbye.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=58&product_id=74. The book is available in both print and electronic formats. Also available to order from Amazon and most fine bookstores.
Regarding love …
This poem was inspired by a real necklace I had made from a teardrop piece of onyx for a lost love.
Age and Onyx
Near an ivy covered castle wall,
down among the leaves and dirt,
an old, black-stoned necklace lay.
Have you a story, my dear old friend,
of these many days passed by?
Does the fire of love live on?
Is her heart yet young enough to care,
and her hair still raven-dark?
Or have these years been too long,
my war making me a stone killer
on those plains so real and red,
that the heart, as the stone, lost—
left the lady to cry once again.
The haiku was written as I thought about one of the great loves of my life.
Beauty Drifting Downward
Dark hair in the wind,
Beauty drifting downward
Fire my mind and soul.
A poem about marriage and where it has led and is leading me.
Time is a juggernaut:
Unstoppable, with no reverse.
Rarely noticed ‘til you’ve transversed.
From proximity choose
One to leaven the daunting edge,
And so your future self you pledge.
Onward the cutting slope:
Good times, bad times and some unknown,
Reaching that day when all has grown.
Two sides, this: tried and left alone.
One marked by the slavering beast,
The other by fragile dreams–its feast.
Comfort and knowledge keep
your aging soul marching the line;
Each passing mark your life defined.
Yet a song once too oft
Played and heard at your deepened core,
Makes you wonder: should there be more?
You know love came along
For the downward and dead end ride.
It’s what kept you on the inside.
No outward saunters then
To breach the safety of the known,
A bargain made to tend what’s sown.
The right choice? Who can tell?
Time’s line marches forever on;
The moment is all, then it’s gone.
Joy is taken in light,
Which passes by in quickened flight,
A subtle taste we take in haste…
Before we bow and say good night.
And here I find a love I thought I had long ago lost.
Secret longings mind-burnt
Now loosed from my soul,
Sweet knives outward slicing
Host-bound on the wind;
Diamond ice time-picked clean
Will melt asunder,
Heart-met in morning hours,
Her dark eyes of joy.
Love is no longer a four letter word
It’s official. The most used word in 2014, was not a word. It was the heart emoji or emoticon, meaning ‘love,’ which apparently was (and still is) used billions of times every day on the Internet, more than any written word.
According to the Global Language Monitor in Austin Texas, http://www.languagemonitor.com/ the English language is undergoing exponential changes unlike anything ever in its history, and it now includes 722 characters or images that portray emotions, expression, state of mind, even people, places or things.
Finally you can use the’ insert symbols’ function in Word. Most smart phones include an emoji keyboard, but if yours doesn’t, there’s an app for that. Of course there is, there are several, and they are free.
The word (or symbol) ‘Love’ ♥ is used in so many ways we didn’t touch on in this posting. Here are a few—romantic love: ♥💏 familial love: ♥👪 religious love: ♥🙏
love of friends: ♥👫 love of animals: ♥🐎🐩 love of coffee: ♥🍵
love of food: ♥🍴🍔 love of shoes: ♥👠
love of sports: ♥🎾🎿 etc.
Ironically, the most used word on porn sites is ‘love’—about the last place love comes into play.
It just goes to prove what a crazy, mixed up world it is.
Trish Jackson writes romantic suspense and romantic comedy, and loves to include fictional animals and pets in her stories. http://www.trishjackson.com