Divorce, Single Parenting, Dating, Sex, & Self-Recovery


symphony and storm

bridge of a cello

[from Making Love To Other Women – poetry]

in symphony and storm
i lean into the idea you leave inside me
in crash and fire
song and string
i can only imagine your caress here and now
in the flashing dark
i would swallow you whole
if there were a way to take you
with me
to satisfy the hunger for your skin
and smile
and laughter
it is easier in this moment
to point out what won’t work
than to hope towards the fit we crave
the exposed heart
opened again
but the trembling drums
and flashes of brilliance
illuminate just an outline
of what is possible
of how you felt
of what i can remember

we could try and pretend
that our souls weren’t seeking connection
we can say we’re complete, alone
but we can’t deny the fireworks
and the warmth that caught our minds
when we met
when across the room
our two broken spirits
recognized a kindred ache

it might be easier to listen
to the no
the reasons for avoiding the flame
and the fearful counsel of the firefighters
and weathermen
predicting more storms ahead

but under the rumble i hear the timpani
in the shuddering booms i know the melody
and in your arms
i’ve held one more cello
tight and warm
to my chest
and listened
to your breathing
seeking echoes
or rests

in this night of symphony and storm
i hold a projection of you
who i imagine you to be
who i hoped for in previous attempts
at writing the masterpiece

today i have a few notes
some scribbled maps, burned at the edges
and a hope


image: cello bridge, andrew sutherland ,creative commons usage


the song i sing

the song i sing

[from Making Love To Other Women – poetry]

i can see the song i sing because you are in my life
i follow the horizon and know we will get there
here in this moment, i can be safe, home, loved
here in this moment, my expectations can take a rest

even in your absence i feel nourished
held in a warm pocket
and in awe of this feeling you have reminded me of
an energy so pure and addictive
that we have to measure it out
pace ourselves

no hurry, my dear
the world awaits
and it never rests
but in your arms
i can put it off
for the afternoon


image: notes of a rock song, Bùi LInh Ngân, creative commons usage

all the way

a lover at last

[from Making Love To Other Women – poetry]

i can see her before me now
like an ocean of yes

all, all the way

i can see all the ways
that she fits me now
all the ways that she gets me now
all the ways

all, all the way
finding hope – finding home
finding hope – finding home
in you

everyday she surrounds me now
she awakens me, she’s awake
she gives to me, sometimes everyday
every single way, yeah she gives

and if ever i forget
she’s got a way to bring me back
when i’m alone
when i’m wandering in the dark
she doesn’t let me go alone
she brings me home

all the way – she feels deeply now
and she knows, she just knows
we can play, we can withstand this joy
every single day, every day, along the way


it’s just desire

[from Making Love To Other Women – poetry]

dusky-walking-smthis cloud this haze this drugged moment
as if the dark air of loneliness
was escaping with a hiss
around the edges of my heart
breaking the fourth wall of reason
for something more dangerous

an ache
that before was theory
that before involved maps and strategies
there is no strategy for this feeling
no point in burning maps
they are all you know of the shore
the stars above twinkle
as the path winds into darker nights
knowing now what was missing
and if

aiming away from solitude
towards some idea
of risk and feeling
where the wild things are
what hungers
and leaps
in the spaces between touch
and touching
and anticipation of touch
wrestling to pull back the sail
before capsizing the journey
diving into a course
before the destination is shared

it is delirious and delicious
this ambrosia of moments
dreaming you into being
even as your strong signals
say yes
say slow
say hello

a part of our souls
have set sail
even in this imaginary boat together
we’re calling out subtle directions
affirming the small lines we have begun to trace
in the flickering light
of the map room


arriving at any time

stormy-sky-stoplight-2[from Making Love To Other Women – poetry]

the heart is a bright and shining mystery
of potential to love and soar
in my clean and steady state
i listen and sound
for the edges and tempers and colors
and the join
that is sure to come
with my patience and persistence
she could be arriving at any time
even as storms and floods rage
obscuring signals
deflecting our trajectories
in the night
but seeking is also freedom
limitless and utter romance
has flavors yet unimagined
until her smile flashes
walks in the room
and says
what’s next


and you are alight

you are alight - poetry - the off parent[from Making Love To Other Women – poetry]

i am holding an open door
without demands or expectations
there is joy inside and music
an easy repose and repartee
to adjust your daily muse
and moods of blue and red and black
all find voice
and comfort
it is a symphony i seek
where the orchestrations are by choice
and desire
and hope
you are invited
to begin a journey
to join in with harmonies and melody
to sing with your own voice
i listen
i have grown tired of my own solos
even as I work to keep the wind vigorous
i am ready to throw open the windows too
and let the weather change everything
push the papers, sheets, and past around
and reconfigure magic
into madness of spirit
higher and brighter
and towards a still point
of such balance
where striving stops again
you have known this peace
where ambition is paired with contentment
as best of friends
and the flex and stretch
comes from energy and joy
and you are alight


image: used via creative commons, Doorway in Muslim district in Ajmer

i am wrapping pillows

i am wrapping pillows - the off parent

[from Making Love To Other Women – poetry]

this is the morning of love and hope and possibilities
when the cold is an offer of snuggles and warm drinks
where the fog seems to be lifting
even when there is no shore in sight
waking up with pets rather than lovers
or children to feed and hug

this is the hope i will never give up
and the longing i will always answer
and the chill i hope to rub red
and the song of my heart i continue to sing

the world is waking up
and so am i
in this soupy and mysterious morning
she is waking up too
maybe she has the warmth
or maybe she has given up seeking
for light beyond the love of her children
maybe she’s on opposite weekends
well snuggled while i am wrapping pillows

no worry
this hope burns away the covering clouds
revealing hope again
and sun
joy in the chill
and the opportunity it brings
to love
and love again
warmed again
from within this time

there is no need for her for me
we are autonomous and solid
there is not a repair that needs a man’s strength
she has found that alone again
becoming her whole parent
there is nothing missing
but me
and she may not believe
she may not speak my name

the chill is lifted today
and the fog is blown to the edges of our vision
if the hope remains
that is enough
and the memory
of what a joyful touch felt like


magnetic joy

[from Making Love To Other Women – poetry]

my sly grin and magnetic joy
what i am perfecting, in this loneliness
i have not grown tired of the pursuit
only the futility of my demands


Bladerunner's Beauty

as i imagine

[from Making Love To Other Women – poetry]

this is the place I pour out all the things i hope to give
i have lost the receiver
my words and hopes and dreams are vapors
and my own enjoyment is the lonely result

and if she came
and if she awakened
as i imagine

these songs and rhymes would trace a new angle
like the curve of a hip
the redness of a lip, or a smile, or a touch

this is the place i sing to the future
to the moment that must come
with all this chanting and praying
and beating around the bush
surely a quarry will be flushed into the open

and i will be surprised
and she will leap away
and I will pursue

for now this will have to suffice
she is not here
she has not yet arrived
in my field
of vision
but i see her
as clearly as if my life depended
or her life depended on a magical kiss
to tear away the slumber and sadness

this is the place i pause and seek and dance
i await the receiver
to bring flesh to these letters
heart to these imaginings
touch to these fingers

and if she came
and if she awakened
as i imagine


as i imagine

calm cool purrs all around

[from Making Love To Other Women – poetry]

i will be another’s cat’s meow
stroking and petting and leisurely napping
we will know each other by instinct
it’s almost as if we had no choice
as we rub tails, whiskers, noses
the trick, as i imagine it
will be to remain aloof and adoring
while expressing and applying
a pressing desire
a nod a nudge a blink
and calm cool purrs all around
but not too her
near her
until she cannot resist
what we’ve both known
since the moment we met


like two cats

peacefully anticipating someone

wing tattoos

[from Making Love To Other Women – poetry]

we don’t have much time
and all the time in the world lies before us
it is about what we choose
who we are to become
and what cast of characters we’d like to
write into the next scene

i sit here
type type typing
and you there
type type typing
working for a living
and a moment
and the space

if we choose something else
we have decided
if ‘maybe’ is the constant answer
no is the result

i am not saying this
i am typing this
i am afraid
to say

i want you
to crave you
to have and to
it might be easy
but only time will tell
this time
that tics and clicks away
beneath our fingers
across the backs of our wings

i have known flight
and i can remember what that feels like
the ground is no place for dreamers
and lovers

perhaps the lover in you is still obscured
or perhaps it is me

any moment
is every moment
and without you
they are alone

but alone

i am ready to be not-alone

i imagine smelling your neck
and the coarseness of your toes after a long walk
the dampness

this rain comes
blows and goes
this breath returns again and again

i am singing as loud as i know how
but i am still learning
i am working on it


you must work on yourself
and the lover you may become
if you want to

i can ask

i can sing, and swoop, and dip
i fly nearby
i flutter

i type type type
you type type type
but the words are not for each other

the words
the wings
the wind beneath my heart
peacefully anticipating

arriving here again
at patience


an easy wish

from my point of view

[from Making Love To Other Women – poetry]

if i had a way to reach out and stroke your back i would
just a touch to let you know i am here
i am thinking about you
and hope that you are smiling
it is an easy wish
there are so many strands between us
communication devices and channels
but this is different
i want you to feel me
i want you to notice my absence
and in that moment
i want you to remember how often i touch
not with a question or a request
just a hello
a reassurance
a nudge towards a happy direction
this is what i am imagining right now
to you
this touch


i believe, i pray, i fly

poem of desire - love poem - beach[from Making Love To Other Women – poetry]

and if i bring poems to her and she doesn’t understand
when i sing songs and she gets bored
if i offer a casual massage and she’s too busy
what then?

and if i ask and provide opportunities
when i wait and hold out hope
can i become addicted to longing
what then?

i know what missing you feels like
before we’ve even met
i can smell you, and feel your hair in my face
i know what i have lost

and if the shower after the day on the beach
and the cool dark unfamiliar room
rough and clean white sheets
the curtains billowing in the blow of the ac

and if my longing does not call you in
and my waiting proves fruitless again
i can still send out sirens songs
and use this desire as a sail

of course i hunger for her
and a near miss is a miss completely
and a word, a poem, a song, are precious
even without an ear to whisper into

in fibers deep in my soul i know
she is nearby, doing her thing
i am not finished with my baking
these ‘projects’ are just beginning

perhaps at this moment
she would be a distraction
and from afar she is muse, lover, mother
vixen, tease, goddess, everything

i know what longing feels like
i learned to do without even when she was next to me
i can thrive alone, in desirous creation
i don’t want to, but i do

sing along little bird
bring your bright feathers into my mouth
give flight to your fantasies as well
there is time, there is time, there is always time

hearts a flutter in beautiful presence
i am still becoming more loveable
my plan is drawing you in
even as I have failed to execute in the past

i can call, and write, and throw
poems and intentions and agendas at you
i can wait and be patient
to see if you will ignite

perhaps you are that one
that madonna that brings me to god, again
again, I am ready
i believe, i pray, i fly

i believe, i pray, i fly



this very moment

the off parent - poem[from Making Love To Other Women – poetry]

we will return to barcelona

and boats with women
and song and wine
and roses

and each action forward
is an affirmation
this thinking and
won’t get us there
i am an epic moment
waiting to be discovered
as i have discovered

one word to set us free
today the word is marketing
the mantra is social media
and halfway through my solar arc
i am comfortable with my loneliness
and making peace with my dragons
since the slaying strength is long passed

how does this words for dollars thing work?
and why isn’t it word for spirit
more than just a parallel path

i am impatient and hungry
and in this flighting around
casting about
line of fire
i coil
i plan and act
and reset

i can’t see who i will become or be with
but i can stand my ground
stand in this now
and breathe
and bend
and flex

i cannot let my attention off the suppression
for one second
this inner fury
if not vented and freed
can pull down the king
and his kingdom

there is no idle in the waiting
but there are also no preparations
for war
or weddings

and the throwing of lines
hexagrams and monofilament
may not return the nourishment
at this moment

yet the fire must be tended and guarded
and maybe worshipped a little
so as not to be lost
or too freely given
over and over
in the little moments of doubt
the challenge and response
must be offered

thine enemies known and unknown
and future lovers
approaching and leaving
this breaking balance is not easy to maintain
as the belief in the come
seems dim and distant

but beautiful spirits surround
like fireflies
and sisters

i require nothing of you
but the laying down of arms
the laying on of hands
the laying together
that never turns to lying

i ask nothing in return
yes       yes        yes
i promise
this very moment
and. this. one.
is enough to sustain
and stoke
my warm heart


it’s about time


[from Making Love To Other Women – poetry]

and then i open my mouth and I have no idea what comes out
i’m nervous, in love, tortured to make contact
and nothing

it’s not that absence makes the heart grow at all
absence is just lack of you, face time, touch time, touch
all these virtual pokes and likes and touch-ins
are no match for the rush of time, tic, time, tic
it’s about time

it’s about time



you’re a song i want to sing

love poem - your a song I want to sing - john mcelhenney

love poem - your a song I want to sing - john mcelhenney[from Making Love To Other Women – poetry]

you’re a song i want to sing
a mode of being I want to embrace
you’re like middle c
a shore to my ocean
moving into and out of you
without touching
never, not touching

you’re a song i want to sing
in a key of life i’ve never known
and words are no match for the feeling
and the feeling is no indicator of the depth
there’s so little information
and yet, so much to the sweep and sound
of your voice, breath, breathing
like waves and whispers

you’re a song I want to sing
and i can’t decide where to begin
and that’s okay

you never end
as we drift and ebb


creating believing solo

this is me creating, believing, solo[from Making Love To Other Women – poetry]

i aimed another poem at her again last night
and loosed it like a prayer
somewhat unsure of my intention
less sure of who she might be
what she might like

there are no limits in pursuit
in anticipation of the join
i am full
and full of myself
in love
in this state
at the edge of the unknown

with time as an unlimited resource
a currency more precious and rare
and even the idea of you
becomes a sail i can ride
a wordstream love jam of song

this is me creating



modern love notes

modern love notes - poem

[from Making Love To Other Women – poetry]

leaving just enough silence between us
wondering what you’re doing, thinking, feeling
i hold my tongue and text and messages of love
this can be nothing more than my own reflection
seeking a replacement, and shelter, and song
surely love does not ignite with such simplicity
a puppy love, a projection, a trajectory of my own imagination

i seek messages in the clouds and stars at night
and i listen on all channels
erasing and deleting






because it is too soon
and you are busy, and beautiful, and pleasurable
to all around you
and when I am
given the chance
i will breathe you in
i will hesitate just a little
i will tease back at the growing heat








endless running

[from Making Love To Other Women – poetry]

she opened her mouth like she opened her mind
i could not stay there
a language i did not warm up to
running, all this endless running
she was fit and pretty
and must have heard a similar discord
she paid, but didn’t return my texts


girl in running shoes

anticipating the rain with you

i am anticipating you

[from Making Love To Other Women – poetry]

i am anticipating the ocean with you
the rain and the clouds
the sounds and the smells
of you

i am anticipating the touch of your hand
the taste of your lips
and how i feel when i think of being
with you

i am anticipating your next move
falling into step
and falling asleep
beside you

i am anticipating how you sound
when you laugh or moan
in an instant i can almost
imagine you

i am anticipating someone who can light the sky
silence the night
walk down beaches in the dark
holding you

i am anticipating the disruption of everything i imagine
of plans and hopes and dreams
now even more real than my hopes
about you

i am anticipating



she believed in kissing

kissing before getting on a train

[from Making Love To Other Women – poetry]

she opened her mouth so wide i fell inside
and kisses slipped us into a dreamlike state
i was open and aware and allowing the momentum
we careened along the tracks like a train without brakes

and she sounded the alarm
or at least alerted the brakeman
we slowed without any major damage
but the pause was enough
i was grateful
she was a fantastic kisser
she believed in kissing
so did i
and she held many of the qualities I wanted
or said I wanted
i did not prepare for a boarding of my train
when she began unpacking her bags
and getting ready to join my sleeping car
i knew that we needed more than the attention of the brakeman
i called an emergency stop
she protested
she cajoled
she made me feel tired
i was not ready for a showdown
i did not want to force anyone off the train
i was not aware of selling or giving tickets

she taught me the sacred art of kissing
she thrilled and laughed and was hurt
when I asked her to leave
i was not prepared to put up a fight
i was also not prepared to allow a forced boarding

i left her standing at the station
she called out and waved
she said wonderful things and then angry things
she would not be boarding the train any time soon
or ever
but her kisses will be missed
and the heavy moment of having to hurt someone else
for any reason
even if the reason is self-preservation

she opened her mouth
and i danced on her tongue
and found myself lost inside her
and when i woke up
when i saw the baggage she was bringing



i want to know again

drawing the little black dress

[from Making Love To Other Women – poetry]

i will find my next great love
there will be no trail of little black dresses
across the countryside
i will slow down the runaway train
i will listen
i am patient

i wait with intention
i listen and learn
even what I am saying I want

and she will assemble for me
necessary shapes and smells
she will embody

i will find the next great love
and I will love again
without tether

actively seeking
i slow my roll
i clear and cleanse my palette
i get quiet and hollow
i can feel the emptiness
that once was filled
joyous and thrilling

she arrives when she comes
she arrives and asks me the tough questions
she had other plans
she opens just a little to see how I will respond

i am not waiting for someone to board my train
i am not looking for enmeshment
i am looking to stand strong and together with her
when she is ready to let me in
when the trust, and passion, and easy living of life
is too much to resist
she will be in my arms
and I will know
i have arrived
at possible

i had her once and lost
i will have her again
she is mine
she is ripe
she waits without waiting
she knows nothing

everything is an opening before us
and in the fresh air of the morning or the late chill of the evening sky
i can imagine what it will be like to be with her
in this moment

and she is fluttering nearby
she is sleeping
it is late

i cannot reach out to her just yet
it is too soon to tell
what kind of lover she will make
it is too soon to meet her child
it is too soon to hope beyond the doubt that awakens inside the hopefulness
it is too soon to give my poem an object

if we find a connection
and we both ask for more
if she listens and speaks
if her flame is brightening and warming

if i know anything, i know that i love well
and i will love her with everything i have
i do not hold back

i know that i will love well again
i know that the little black dress is a metaphor and a gateway
i am looking for that drug that never ceases to amaze
that cosmic mist
to come over our eyes and make everything sparkly

i want to sleep, laugh, cuddle, caress on into my hundreds
and i’d like to do it with one more woman
all these sirens are confusing
i think i know
i don’t know

i want to know again


travel together

bringing your own train

[from Making Love To Other Women – poetry]

when she trained her blue eyes on me and asked

“are you checking me out?”
i knew i had been snagged
at a game i most definitely wanted to be caught at
and she smiled


she wanted to know how she’d done
and her eyes matched her blue shirt
and her smile revved the tempo of my heart
for a beat

“you did quite well, i mean…”

the words are not what escaped me
i paused to slow down and savor the moment

“i was”

and though there was distance and a table between us
we were pressed as close together as we’d ever been
“i’ve discovered that adoration is what grows
over time… and that may be what love is for me…


“and were you checking me out?”
“not when you first arrived…
not until I saw that you were checking me out…”
guide rails: physical touch and emotional depth
unexplainable chemistry: “I could look at you forever”

and when all concepts and frameworks fail
develops the opportunity
to travel together



twist of the hip

[from Making Love To Other Women – poetry]

i don’t need a woman
i crave a woman who knows and wants to love
deeply, fearlessly, without regret
i can pick her out of a crowded bar
the one out of the thirty women there
i imagine she is putting out her vibes
that she is looking at me too

in the lights and live music she is probably just watching the crowd
but there she is
the one woman for me within this tight radius
we could both be lucky
so much information in the way a woman
moves to the music
even from a chair
it is the same way she will make love
in the world outside
her dance is even more important

is her step and life filled with sensuous motion
from the body flows the soul
they cannot hide from one another
she cannot hide from me

i will ask
i will know
i will press into dark places without request
but her body has a love language
i am eager to learn
and her spiritual state will be laid bare

in a single glance and the twist of the hip
the path forward is open and necessary
yet i still know…
that all of this…
that all… of… this…
all of this…
poetry is projection
she is warm, willing, and at a show
on some early Saturday evening
she moves and her signals wash over me


poetry from the off parent