"Someone who does not run
toward the allure of love
walks a road where nothing lives."
Do you know why I love Valentine's Day? Because I can talk about poetry. I can love poetry. I can gift poetry and...wait for it...people don't roll their eyes quite as much. So our gift to you this Valentine's Day--for your Valentine or Pal-entine...is some curated poems to send off to your dear ones...as if you spent hours scouring the internet with a heart shaped comb.
To honor intellectual property, only excerpts from some poems are presented. Click on the title for the whole poem.
For the marrieds or about to be...
(A huge thank you to the author Michael Simms for his generosity in allowing the piece to be published here.)
By Michael Simms
The marriage-bed is the center of happiness
a point from which all things ripple outward,
a nest from which all things learn to fly.
It is the sign of return, part of the great rhythm
of the seasons, and of the years.
It is the dream of return, the strength and faith
that sing of home.
It is the wren’s nest woven of twigs and string,
the swallow’s nest of saliva and mud.
It is what we return to, as migratory birds
passing over marshes and fields
dream of the end of the journey.
It is what frightens night-devils away,
even in winter.
It is the tree that grows through the house,
the hollow of the tree that has never known death.
It is the crystal of all feeling, the flower of all
understanding, the small containing the large.
It is the nautilus growing its many chambers of love.
It is the sudden outburst of one who has long been silent
It is the idea that a calla lily can be shaped
like a wineglass on a long green stem.
It is the heart-stone.
It is the name of all names
that thinks it is a star and a rose.
It is a conch-shell rough on the outside,
pearly in its intimacy.
It is a snail rolling over and over
building a staircase.
It is an animal, an almond, a repose.
It is an oyster opening in the full of the moon.
It is a mouth telling a secret.
It is a kiln where clay battles fire.
It is the simple happiness of sleeping on a boat.
These are the walls we’ve pressed back into a circle
in the shape of our merged bodies.
And it will take a long time for the waves
spreading from the center of our intimacy
to reach the ends of the world.
For those awash in love...
One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII
by Pablo Neruda
I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as one loves certain obscure things,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul....
For those who are good kissers...
For those in love with life...
by Billy Collins
This morning as I walked along the lakeshore,
I fell in love with a wren
and later in the day with a mouse
the cat had dropped under the dining room table...
For those who give so much happiness...So Much Happiness
by Naomi Shihab Nye
It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness.
With sadness there is something to rub against,
a wound to tend with lotion and cloth.
When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up,
something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs or change....
Naomi Shihab Nye is coming the Bellingham this Spring for free! Local readers can reserve your tickets here. What a great gift for you and your loved one to do together!
Want to gift a creative experience and something beautiful to wear? Sign your loved one up for an Earring Workshop at Found Leather Goods!
All Images by Jennifer Bogle, documenting my family. To see more of her photography that captures the ordinary in an extraordinary way, you can follow her on Instagram at: make.shoot.live