Lover, Here Are My Words

Then wear the gold hat, if that will move her;
If you can bounce high, bounce for her too,
Till she cry “Lover, gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover,
I must have you!”

—Thomas Parke D’Invilliers

A million secrets whispered

muffled by that which is crystallized

and my mouth a swollen, sullen thing

that cannot produce any heat

nor passionate verses

when surrounded by such chill and char.

But, lover,

look at the frost–

how it glistens.

The whole world is melting

and I let tears stream down my face

to match the damp outdoors–

dripping off my nose and onto my lips

so I can taste the brine within me

when I part those lips to speak.

But, lover,

look at the sun–

how it radiates.

And I just let all these words flow out of me–

no, fall out of me–

when I opened my jaw in this heat.

I uncapped my pen

and left an inky, blobby mess on the page

with scribbled words nearly indecipherable.

But, lover,

look at the bounty–

how it is.


Photo by Andreea Diana Sintean from Pexels

Again Today – Guest Post by Leon Stevens

I saw that guy again on my walk today

I saw that guy again on my walk today

We are at the point when we pass

That a pursed lip smile

Will suffice

Or a nod

When, I wonder, will the relationship progress

To where I have to say hello

I saw that woman with the cart today

Wearing all that she owns (clothes that is)

Tattered coat, even though it’s warm outside

Worn out shoes

On tired feet

When will I feel obliged

To offer…anything

I saw that child with the others today

With matching daycare vests

Tugging dandelions off to the side

With a smile

Only he knows

Why he is

The center of his own attention

I saw that girl with the dog today

We often pass each other

Today I was running

When I passed her she was crying

Only I kept going

Was none of my business I told myself

Though I wonder.


Photo by Leon Stevens


Leon Stevens is an author, composer, guitarist, and an artist with a Bachelor of Music and Education. He published his first book of poetry Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures in January 2020, followed by a book of original classical guitar compositions, Journeysand a short story collection of science fiction/post-apocalyptic tales called The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.

His current projects include a second collection of poems called, A Wonder of Words, and two novellas based on a short story from The Knot at the End of the Rope. Visit his website at: www.linesbyleon.com

Update: Leon has an additional novella out titled The View from Here, that is available as a paperback and Kindle version. To keep up with any future projects of his, you can visit the Books and Merch page on his website.


To read “Passersby”, a poem by Joy also about strangers walking past, click here.

Reverse Planning New Years Resolutions: Pen Pal Letter #5

new years and resolutions

To Whom It May Concern:

I think the “New year, new me” mindset is rather silly, given the slim chances of sticking with any resolutions longer than just a few weeks. I say it about myself every year regardless.

In fact, I will take any chance I get to have a fresh start. It might be why I like mornings and sunrises so much. Every dawn washes away the dark from the night before and gives light in an unprecedented way. And with that light, we have a chance to right wrongs of the past, look to the future, but most importantly find elation in the moments of that day.

My resolution for 2022 is to document my life, which is just a slightly more complex version of what I already do. I already write in a journal semi-regularly. These “pen pal letters” already kind of read like diary entries. I do take pictures and videos, just not very often. And I save just about every paper scrap that contains evidence of activities, whether that is a map of a museum or a movie ticket or a wristband for a concert.

Specifically, I am going to be documenting my life in a memory keeping “planner” (which is to say that I will be using a planner for more or less the opposite of what its name implies). Each day, I can add any of those pieces of paper that I already keep. I can write. I can print out and glue down pictures to make it like a scrapbook. I don’t care if I make a mess and it looks entirely random by the end, provided that I document at least one thing from each day in there.

I really have to resist the urge to put additional resolutions on my list. I would like to be more active. I want to keep in better contact with family and friends. I have specific goals about writing that I would like to achieve. In a way, though, I think it is dramatically better to just have the one. For one thing, it gives me only one goal to focus on. For another, it will likely be attainable because, as I said, it is just an extension of things I already do. And lastly, I can still incorporate these other ideas into it. If I go on a hike or try a yoga class or something, I can make a note of it in the “planner”. If I have a nice phone call with a friend, I can write about it. If I hit a milestone in my writing, I can show it on the page. And if I don’t do these things as often as I would like, it doesn’t matter. I don’t have keep up any sort of streak. I just have to show pride in the days that I do complete them.

I doubt that I will show the pages of this “planner” anywhere online. With any luck, the contents of it will show a year of intensely personal memories that I want to reflect on with a select few people.

Regardless, this pen pal series is one that I plan to keep up. It’s my way as an intensely private person to show a little bit more of myself to you, and I have a lot of fun doing it.

I truly hope that this new year is treating you well. Wishing you resilience and peace.

Sincerely,

Joy


Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels

Of the New Year

awake and alive

When I think of the new year,

I think of early morning walks

when the sun is just about

to send streamers of peach and delicate rose

across the sky

to celebrate the beginning of the day.

I think of how I will be awake and alive

to join in the gaieties,

how I will conduct an orchestra of songbirds

as they first begin to tell of each dawn–

the poetry of their whistles

stating their trust that it is always worth rejoicing

in a beginning.

When I think of the new year,

I think of saving memories,

of sealing them to pages of a book with glue,

of scratching down words so as to never forget,

of decorating the days with doodles and stickers.

I think of living life in a memorable way

and making sure those memories stick

and learning to be content with the small things

by proclaiming them noteworthy, too.


Photo by Binti Malu from Pexels