TCS: Love in Short-ish Poems

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We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Valentine’s Day is almost upon us. Whether you like the idea of a day devoted to Love, or you think it’s just a conspiracy between the candy makers, the florists, and the card companies, it’s the time of year when Love, especially Romantic and True Love, is on many people’s minds.

So here are some poems that aren’t too long. They may inspire you to say something lovely to someone who is already very special in your life, or to a person you’d really like to be your special someone. Or if you’re in recovery from love gone bad, perhaps a bit of hope for the next time.



by Rita Dove

After all, there’s no need
to say anything

at first. An orange, peeled
and quartered, flares

like a tulip on a wedgewood plate
Anything can happen.

Outside the sun
has rolled up her rugs

and night strewn salt
across the sky. My heart

is humming a tune
I haven’t heard in years!

Quiet’s cool flesh—
let’s sniff and eat it.

There are ways
to make of the moment

a topiary
so the pleasure’s in

walking through.

“Flirtation” from Museum, © 1983 by Rita Dove
– Carnegie Mellon University Press


The next two poems are from,
a website devoted to one sentence poems.

Broken Lamp

by Steve Klepetar

Last night
we broke
the lamp

but when
I woke
you were
still asleep

your lovely
face in
shadow, so

I watched
a while,
marveling at
your quiet

breaths, the
streaming of
your hair.

There is no video of Steve Klepetar dancing in college


Song for Sex

by Angeline Schellenberg

Oh, mashup of poetry and friction,
all here-ness and bungle,
here’s to years of trust, flashes of huzzah,
the grudging forgiveness,
and the halleluiah.

Angeline Schellenberg, author of Tell Them It Was Mozart (Brick Books, 2016), lives in Winnipeg, Canada, with her husband, two teenagers, and a German Shepherd-Corgi


Sometimes the reasons we love someone are not obvious to other people.


 by Craig Arnold

Of many reasons I love you here is one

the way you write me from the gate at the airport
so I can tell you everything will be alright

so you can tell me there is a bird
trapped in the terminal      all the people
ignoring it       because they do not know
what to do with it       except to leave it alone
until it scares itself to death

it makes you terribly terribly sad

You wish you could take the bird outside
and set it free or       (failing that)
call a bird-understander
to come help the bird

All you can do is notice the bird
and feel for the bird       and write
to tell me how language feels
impossibly useless

but you are wrong

You are a bird-understander
better than I could ever be
who make so many noises
and call them song

These are your own words
your way of noticing
and saying plainly
of not turning away
from hurt

you have offered them
to me       I am only
giving them back

if only I could show you
how very useless
they are not

“Bird-Understander.” Copyright 2009 by Craig Arnold


[love is more thicker than forget] 

by e. e. cummings

love is more thicker than forget
more thinner than recall
more seldom than a wave is wet
more frequent than to fail

it is most mad and moonly
and less it shall unbe
than all the sea which only
is deeper than the sea

love is less always than to win
less never than alive
less bigger than the least begin
less littler than forgive

it is most sane and sunly
and more it cannot die
than all the sky which only
is higher than the sky

[love is more thicker than forget] from Complete Poems 1904-1962, © 1926, 1954, 1991 by the Trustees for the E.E. Cummings Trust – Liveright


Love doesn’t always go well.


by Jill Alexander Essbaum

A clementine
Of inclement climate
Grows tart.

A crocus
Too stoic to open,

Like an oyster
That cloisters a spoil of pearls,

The heart that’s had
Stays shut.

Jill Alexander Essbaum’s Poem appeared in the December 2009 of
Poetry Magazine, © 2009 by Jill Alexander Essbaum


When Love does go right, it’s worth everything it took to find it.

Marriage Poem

by Nona Blyth Cloud

We have been married
. . . 37 days,
. . . . . . 2 hours,
. . . . . . . . . 12 minutes
. . . . . . . . . . . . and 24 seconds . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . 25 . . . 26 . . . . . .

It seems shorter.
. . . Time sucks our joy greedily,
. . . sipping our bitter hours at his leisure.

It seems longer.
. . . How many lifetimes
. . . . . . have we been lovers?

We married at noon,
when the light is brightest,
. . . . . . and shadows thin,
. . . . . . . . . halo edges . . .

May it always be so.

“Marriage Poem” © 1983 by Nona Blyth Cloud


About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for over 50 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband.
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2 Responses to TCS: Love in Short-ish Poems

  1. pramegha says:

    Love-ly. Love is eternal, it will always be so.☺

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