Tag Archives: love



My heart is ready for war. 


The politician asked me:

            But what of honor?

            seeing none;

so I’ll gory the battle

armor-less and tall

if it’ll prove you’re not a poem. 


The only arms I take up

are my own, still shaking from your closeness

but strong enough

to hold out my damp heart to the fray,

to hold onto faith like fish’s thrashing

to hold this sacred ground.


The world has gone to war.


Towns and cities thick with gas,

black with blood and broken glass –


            the urgency is deafening.


Love me quick now

before they take my body

before they take your home

before there is no more love to make.


            we MUST make love.


They’re planting bombs beneath libraries,

read me every story so our children can sleep.


There’s no more time for fear

the worst is already on its way,

the guns are the least of it.


I will make my flesh transparent

since there’s nowhere to hide. 


I will stand in your yard and watch for tanks.

I will light myself on fire if they try to take you

and run into their arms like a child to the great mother,

burning them to ashes with my love

Maxine Kumin

I just heard the news that one of my favorite poets has passed.  I remember finding an anthology of her poetry in the library when I was in 7th grade, and I devoured it whole, but this poem of hers was the one that struck me most and the one I still go back and read over and over again so I thought I would share it as a way to remember and honor her legacy and her life.  Thanks Maxine. 


We Are


Love, we are a small pond.

In us yellow frogs take the sun.

Their legs hang down. Their thighs open

like the legs of the littlest children.

On our skin waterbugs suggest incision

but leave no marks of their strokes.

Touching is like that. And what touch evokes.


Just here the blackest berries fatten

over the pond of our being.

It is a rich month for putting up weeds.

They jut like the jaws of Hapsburg kings.

Tomorrow they will drop their blood

as the milkweed bursts its cotton

leaving dry thorns and tight seeds.


Meanwhile even knowing

that time comes down to shut the door

-headstrong, righteous, time hard at the bone

with ice and one thing more-

we teem, we overgrow, The shelf

is tropic still. Even knowing

that none of us can catch up with himself


we are making a run

for it. Love, we are making a run.

                     – Maxine Kumin (1925-2014)

For Jay


While driving this morning

I caught up to the sun

throwing its hot

on the frosted fields

full of browning goldenrod,


and the finest steam rose up

breathing out of the gnarled creek

in swirling gasps,

held so tenderly and through

by the light’s soft yellow

that I wanted to reach out and take your hand,


even from this impossible distance.

How could anyone not see

that every particle

is pure love. 

I didn’t want to make life easy for you.

Simple is for heaven,

here there is work to be done.


To say that you are made of love

is too many words.

So is it to say,

you are love.

Find the lushness of language

and choose just one word

to tell your heart.


The body machine

wants tending.

The soul is stronger

than you credit it.


What if letting go

was all you ever practiced?

What would ache then?

What if stories

were all you ever said?

Does it make you feel  more real

and less like a mote?


Don’t be afraid

to touch deeply into

with more than shaking hands

all that you are,

the one thing that you are,

the oneness.


Don’t run, as you do,

from the edges peered over.

Your brother

threw himself from the plane

and you

are meant to throw yourself

from yourself,

to bare yourself

with no hand-holds,


to not tell the truth,

but to Be Truth

in all moments,

to forget quiet

as something one does

and live

in the calm roaring. 

Love’s Name

Love's Name

I love you.

Not like when love means

            :‘promise’, or ‘expectation’

but boundless,


      in bondage,


     not tangled;

not in the future,

but within the vast infinite

of each moment:

the flood benevolent

I love you,

without and through your body,

it rushes hushed and wild between us:

divinity/gift/destiny –

                                     my heart

            has rarely —



                                    more open;

a sweet and yellow joy

laughing out of me

as we beautiful fathomless.



you said

and so I gave it to you:

fearlessly sumptuous, irreverent, naked,


closing your eyes to savor,
opening them to watch them fall from my mouth
for you,

and after each
a pause


drinking them down like shots
going straight to your head.

we couldn’t see the moon from the car
so ventured out
into the late night dim
of the lush graveyard

and we still couldn’t find her,
but you found my mouth,
and I found the sweet smoothness
of the skin beneath your shirt

and we found four-in-the-morningchiming from the heart of town
far below us
as you laid inside me
shivering in the dew-ing grass
alive! alive!
in the old cemetery

heralding the deep cornflower blue of morning
as the hushed stars retreated
back behind the layers
of approaching dawn.

you said then,
out loud,
that you were meant to find me
but I didn’t say another word —

didn’t have to

the birds sang:
                       good morning!
                       good morning!
                       good morning to you!