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

Posts tagged “poetry

big night at whole foods

jesus walked into whole foods today
mary was close behind in an elegant silk robe
the wise men were nowhere in sight
i believe they were seeking papaya
and a tannin-free pinot
no one noticed
perhaps they had just finished ice skating on the roof
refreshed almost
lest you think it wasn’t *that* jesus
let me assure you streaks of light
were shooting out of his head
as he walked by
“maybe the halogen lights in your eyes?” you say
or perhaps
i am an unbeliever or unsaved
maybe even of unsound mind
but i’m not kidding
oh, look over there
it’s buddha in the checkout line
with a beautiful woman or two
it’s a big night at whole foods
in austin, texas

john mcelhenney – 2015

image: whole foods, creative commons usage

love loving love

[from strange horizons poems]

in this blistering pace of the day, this life
all that is missed or lost or unremarked upon
all the moments we didn’t stop
and pause in prayer of affirmation
what gets lost?
what loves go unfound

i am certain in my last days
the joys i have celebrated will out balance the dark times
or, i am certain
that given the chance
starting at this very second
that I could begin
to tilt the balance towards
more love poems
towards more love moments
towards love

pointing this direction of my life
i can choose my targets
i have opportunities so clear as this
given the choice
given this life, and this pause
given everything i do and everything i’ve yet to do
if i choose with intention
i can aim my arrow
towards a deeper appreciation
of love loving love
and being loved back




[from strange horizons poems]

something about your heart doesn’t make sense
a desire beyond all desires
a part of your soul you don’t understand
but are drawn to
the thrill, the chase, the capture,
the loss, the love, the sadness
it’s all in there at the beginning
and if you spot the one you’re looking for
no amount of distress or baggage
will keep you from
giving it your best shot
communicating freely
loving wildly
being reckless

don’t hold back when the winds of love arrive
the storm approaches and you can lean in
or run with the dust and rain

ours is the way of brave things
kisses like arrows of fate and joy and excess
piercing the veil
of loneliness

the poetry of desire has created the maelstrom
a belief in myself
in my power to call in what the universe demands
of lovers
and answering the call
who am i to hesitate
when the time opens up and says forever
i am good to go
perhaps for a year
perhaps for a lifetime
i have only lived this far
i do not know
but i feel

you have awakened the life in me
of potential and possibilities
lying together
side by side
strokes and cuddles
and groans
as we seek the hand
push back against the night
with laughter


her surrounding love


[from strange horizons poems]

just above her wrist
there’s a sweetness
that only i know
a place behind her thigh
that i hold on to
and the left neck nibble
drives her to laughter
no matter what mood
might be passing through
i cannot imagine
a more perfect union
flawless in our imperfection
fitting in our wants
reverent in our needs
she keeps me in her pocket
when she leaves
she keeps me wrapped up inside


image: framed, by Ed Illig ©2106, used by permission

more than a love poem

mylove[from strange horizons poems]

a love day
to celebrate the year of changes
and deep understanding

seeing you again today for the first time
i am reminded how easy you are to adore
that first laugh infected my heart
pulling me out of a slumber
brave and strong

aspiring to stand beside you

reflecting back
brief moments of joy
and belonging


The Self-Regulation of Poetry and Longing


I understood something tonight for the first time. It came about after I wrote a post on depression and the artistic temperament for one of my other blogs. As I was explaining how my art is often a form of self-soothing, I cracked open a tiny window into my own current situation. I’m not depressed, but I am highly activated and in an artistic spurt. Tonight as yet another love poem (or poem of #desire, as I’ve come to call them) surfaced I caught a glimpse of myself, doing my thing. And I noticed the effect. The poem of longing seemed to relieve some of my suffering. It gave me a lift even as I was expressing my dismay.

In touching the sadness in words I can begin to unlock and feel them in life.

By telling my story, even in poetry, I am giving voice and awareness to my inner voice, my inner pain. I don’t admit my sadness or loneliness much these days. I’m too busy, too creative, too “happy.” But tonight, something in the back story of the love poem signaled from my subconscious creative brain to my rational and self-assessing brain that there was a problem.

Again, it’s a poem. But as I look back on the two books of poems that have come out of this period of my life, I began to understand, tonight, that these were as much a narrative as my prose. When read in sequence, you can see the arc and trajectory of my heart out of darkness and into hopefulness. I even achieved several moments of “love.” Even when the relationship couldn’t hold the feeling, in the poems I captured a tiny sliver of the potential.

Women of potential. My muse.

And tonight, as I was writing this poem, about something as simple as noticing a woman’s dark shiny hair, I was also able to hear a bit of the ache that I long to medicate with a relationship. And barring that, a love poem.

In the act of desiring, in the writing of a romantic epistle, I am releasing some of the tension I feel. In touching the sadness in words I can begin to unlock and feel them in life. Again, I’m not sad, but I’m lonely. As creative and inspired as I am, my seeking is consistent and unanswered. I have learned patience. I have learned the language of love. I have taught myself to compose songs. And yet… I’m alone.

Another moment occurred this weekend that opens up a bit more of my thinking about relationships, and “what’s next” for me. I had taken a long Saturday afternoon to drive my daughter and two of her friends to the local outlet mall for her birthday. That afternoon, when I got home, alone, I was exhausted. After a quick nap I arose and felt inspiration hit as I was trying to put down a song idea with my guitar and computer. An hour later I was one song richer, and again, slightly exhausted.

And at that very moment what I wanted was someone to share my song with.

It’s sort of romantic, and productive, all this being alone. But it’s not a condition I aspire to, it’s merely where I find myself at this moment.

I contemplated going out. There was a local band playing, and I knew the woman who books the club was newly single… But I was tired. Fulfilled somewhat with my creation. And still, aching for connection. So some of what I am longing for is simply being seen. Having someone to share my new book of poetry with. Or even a new poem. Sure, I’d like someone to come along who can trigger some of the “loving” sides of my poetry and songwriting, but I’ll settle for a confidant. Well, perhaps a cuddling confidant.

I know that I don’t want to become addicted to this state of longing. It’s sort of romantic, and productive, all this being alone. But it’s not a condition I aspire to, it’s merely where I find myself at this moment. And clearly, for a few moments more.

All is well. A new poem is written. A song released inspires yet another. My creative heart flows and flies.

And. Longs. For. Connection.


The Off Parent

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image: the author, kristy duff wallace, creative commons usage

shooting arrows at the moon


[from strange horizons poems]

i have work to do
and i’m thinking about women again
the absence of them, actually
in my life
in the romantic sense
i’ve got sister, daughter, niece, and mom
and not a single bosom to lay my head
this time of year
it’s a problem
or at least a hardship
of course, it is no different than last year
except i’d just come off a deep jag
with a beautiful young mom
who had a penchant for silences
and filling them with music videos
fancy meals and drugs
i couldn’t sustain
the celebration
long enough to understand or feel
how our connection might evolve
into a higher…
a more solid…
it wasn’t about that
let’s be honest
she was 11 years younger
she was beautiful
she was willing
is there any further explanation needed
i would do with her comfort today
tonight, rather
and yet, i wait and hunger
with intention
it *is* the evolution i’m seeking
a transformation of some sort
of me
of my trajectory
and flights of fancy
my arrow is aimed at the moon
and i will settle for nothing less
than overwhelming joy


image: goldion moon, johnathan leung, creative commons usage

of course i think about you

[from a second wave – poetry]

i want you to danceheadoverheals-off
to feel
l. e. t. t. e. r.
words to sounds to body


image: head over heels, courtney carmody, creative commons usage

a late start

[from a second wave – poetry]

white convertible porschetennis-latestart
lululemon tennis gear
a pony tail and
an 11 am court time
on a working day

of course there’s a huge rock
and a beautiful smile
and an elaborate
cup of coffee

i could get used to this
if i were
and well-married


eager for the game


[from a second wave – poetry]

i fell in love today 101 times
she’s not amazing or anything
but she’s playing tennis
and i’ve discovered that I love her
every time i return to the back of the line
and i look at her smile
and lulu-fit skirts

something occurs to me
as i’m falling in love
for the 73rd time
she’s just a woman
playing tennis

sure she’s young
she’s pretty and fit
and athletic
but it’s her inside out forehand that gets me

i’ve become aware
on the 84th time i fall in love
that it must be more about me
the smell of the fall air
and the thwack of the balls
that has me
head over heels

on the 98th time
i fall in love
class is almost over
and i’m aching to understand
if there’s something more to it
or if she could also be participating

i ask her a question
she is wonderful
happy, distracted, and…
just a young woman
playing tennis
on a fall afternoon

i am still in love
and will return on friday
to see if she’s as eager
for the game
as i am


strength and softness


 [from a second wave – poetry]

i see the smile
the mosquito bites on her back
the back of strength and softness
and desire moving away from me
and she waits
she stops and sips her coffee
turns and smiles at me
or the barista
it’s hard to tell from here
and it doesn’t matter
as the flutter has begun
it’s mine and mine alone
she is gone before she notices
anything about me
still she is smiling
in my mind
in my heart
of hopefulness


image: at starbucks, lokate366, creative commons usage

joy or i’m gone


[from a second wave – poetry]

twenty women walk into the upscale coffee shop
i am noticing what is attractive to me
fitness, beauty, swagger
or is it what’s radiating or not radiating
from within
you can see joy a mile away
a feeling that’s coming off the happy ones
is dramatically missing from those
less joyful
and that’s more important than the fitness
underneat the lululemons
or the Porsche she parked just outside
shining and waxed in the sunlight
almost painful to look at
in brilliance, power, and lust
i am free here
to look
and drink my Italian sparkling water


dark woundings of my own


[from a second wave – poetry]

the precision in a glass of wine
loosening the tongue just enough
to truthfully expose the inner heart
the pumping seething heart
rich red with healthy passion
or black blue with choked off pain
i cannot stand in your way
nor cushion your deep slide this time
my target is moving now
released by your trigger finger
and slippery anger-joke-anger
mad, just kidding, is still mad
and opening the door
date-night door, as well
with “i’m mad” is a sure sign
as sure as the slight slur
almost imperceptible, almost passable
but the message uncoiled and venomous
was unfiltered this time, by feints and jests
and the bile poured on the floor between us
what could’ve caused the flood
releasing pent-up frustrations and …
a deathly release from being loved
a striking to keep from feeling
a fear greater than being loved
a fear of loving and losing again

i can’t survive this poison
i’ve seen too clearly the trajectory of loss
disappointment and un. met. expectations.
i survived this song long ago
so long, i no longer want to do the dance
around the venomous tongue
the wounded and striking viper
i won’t go back to charming
starring with glassy eyes, praying
playing the flute
hoping for a long and happy life
i failed my snake charming class
and burned the books
branded with my F
but released from that prison
of dangerous shadows and unknown traps
i am released and recovering
from dark woundings of my own
i won’t take on more
no matter
what the





image: models dive 25 meters, bejamin von wong, creative commons usage

some distant storm


[from a second wave – poetry]

i know you do not understand
and i have resigned to that knowledge
there is no concrete image or metaphor now
that will bring things back around
to set the world on its proper path again
once we have tasted love, heat, desire, unlimited
we are hungry forever
unafraid in the quest for breast and bone beneath
i cannot take away your joy
or smooth out the creases of this life
but the days can move easier in my arms
we walk alone down this new dusty path
and rain clouds seem always on the horizon
things are different now
fractures and scars they say are stronger
but a ghost of the pain remains
no matter how tough we appear
how confident this voice you think i sing
each love song for you
even before we’ve met
i knew you’d arrive
as long as i kept singing
but as this night falls
again with some storms between us
i cannot help but feel the rise of the hair
on the back of my neck
warning of the storm
the flashes of brilliance
followed by clusters of noise
it is no easy task loving another person
there is no sudden unlocking
but as we uncover each new inch of skin
and listen to the complaints and joys
hearing deeply for the resonance
we begin to open
grasp again at some dream
of what we had
what we would become
how things might still
this one time


image: rain? set, cj romberger (cjromb), creative commons usage

an infinite goodbye

[from a second wave – poetry]

the next time I saw her
i was unable to look in her eyes
too much had passed
words that should’ve never been spoken
and i didn’t want to see
the smile, the body, the hair eyes breasts and skin
that i adored for years and years
now stripped from my grasp
from beneath my fingers
i no longer had beauty beside me
and in my loneliness
i found
how we’d never been quite honest with one another
she’d not told me of her trespasses
and I had taken the path of non-resistance
and left her alone
in the bed
trying to sleep
rather than make love
we were tired
she deserved her rest
i fell
through the cracks
and let my energy dissipate
with every night i did not demand
that she love me back
that she receive my touch
that she reclaim her own joy
the part I had fallen in love with
it was not my part to recover her
so i fiddled
and complained
but did not demand
my fully empowered wife
to reignite
perhaps it was …
no it was both of us
it was nobody’s fault
but mine



image: Olivia Arezzolo by Gervin Puse, creative commons usage

a little love poem

OFF- a little love poem

[from a second wave – poetry]

it is simple
and nothing
a poem
about loving someone
you, in particular

but it is something
a nudge
a prayer and promise
in the direction

a song
a dance
a time we share


image: seaside woman with piano, artur mashnich, creative commons usage

the hunger and the beauty


[from a second wave – poetry]

gazelle and zebra
dash and zip by
and i am tempted
by the hunger and the beauty
and the chase

but it is you i want

all the pretty women
in bright shorts and bra tops
are delicious
to my eyes
and something inside

but it is you i really want

i cannot have everything i want
and i know this very well
i have learned to dial it back
to be a bit quieter

but it is not youth i want

we run we jump we play
as older beasts in the herd
and find our desire in similarities
and contrasts of all kinds
that fascinate me

still it is you i want

if you see my eye flashing
as the athlete runs by
base instinct ready for the hunt
and you see my heart quicken
just for a second

know, it is you i want

beautiful women are all around
we too were young and sleek
god continues to amaze
and we continue to worship
and learn new prayers

still, it is you


no dream


[from a second wave – poetry]

we are both waking up
to what could be
not yet what is

what waking up together
might be

testing tendernesses
and embracing

days without you
even they build
more fascination

longing that i know
and someone that i’m meeting
again and again
at the edge of what i’ve known

you are the unknown
and the future is
you are the risk
i want to take
to fly


image: stars, robb north, creative commons usage

in between

[from a second wave – poetry]

the moments in between
in pauses
i imagine you
beside me
saying something exotic
and promising
a glint in your glance
warms the cockles
sets the deepest bones
this in between time
is ours


Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 6.57.46 PM

image: because your lips are the light of my world…, courtney carmody, creative commons usage

arriving at now

[from a second wave – poetry]

we don’t have to get it right
or know what we pretend to know
ease and comfort
and staying present
is the joy of your skin
the tilt of your laugh
the smile you bring
as i imagine
how you feel
to me
that’s the important bit


Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 8.41.44 AM

image: jackie martinez, mark j sebastian, creative commons usage

the green bike girl

girl on a green bike

[from a second wave – poetry]

the green bicycle flashed by
and i caught a glimpse of tan smooth legs
and white sneakers pumping away
as she swerved into traffic
away from me

it was enough to make me want to follow
to turn into the incoming traffic
i have a thing for cute legs
i guess
or cute women
or… something more insidious
just “cute”

the rest of the story is made up in my head
the she i see
has little to do with the woman riding the bike

her choice of shampoo
or what color the sheets are on her bed
are all part of my imagination
long after the flash of desire
the brilliant green outline of her bike
the contrast of her strong legs and bright shoes

and the flash inside my brain
a synapse that fires with regular abandon
nothing to be done about it
but say “ah yes” a pretty woman
a pretty young girl on a bike
and this amazingly hungry heart of mine
and head full of poetic imaginings
some might call it obsessive or compulsive
but i prefer artistic
these words that frame my desire
in something other than reality
because how much of what we fall in love with
is reality?
are we in love with the chores and mundane beats of life
do we thrive at our desks
far away from the objects of our affection

without the poetic mind
my life would be quite boring
i would be afraid more often than i am
i would love less deeply
i would stay on the surface when my heart says dive
i would never see more than the flash of leg
and the turning away of a young soul

but i see more
i love more
i derive pleasure from things that are not real
ideas that are never expressed
loves that are never culminated
and it’s okay
it’s how i want to be

i want her too
but she’s not here anymore

and until then
sometimes a green bike
holds a key to unlock
in beauty
and time
most importantly




image: schwinn racer, richard masoner, creative commons usage

no longer feel her

girl in dress - poetry

[from a second wave – poetry]

in the moment i could no longer feel or smell her
but her glow was still around me
though her breasts and mind were elsewhere
she was all i could think about
it’s not healthy, i know
it’s not obsession either
well, love is a pretty strong word
i don’t think i know what any of that means anymore
oh, i know the energy she gives
i know the pleasure
and the secrets
i can’t wait any longer
and yet
waiting is the name of the game
it can’t be all the time
balls to the wall
all in
all    all     all
it’s just now


image: touch, bhumica bhatia, 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

i knew

breakup poetry - the off parent

 [from The Black Pages – poetry]

one night, I was confused
i had a moment when
i thought that you were leaving
imagined you were gone

and when I felt afraid
i told you how i loved you
you looked at me so strange
that’s when I knew,

i knew
that is was true
that you were already gone
that it was you
and you were already gone

so now I count my blessings
i wonder what it’s for
so many broken angels
and other closing doors

but i knew
that is was true
that you were already gone
that it was you
and you were already gone

any time you looked distant
were you thinking of the other side
and the moment you decided
to change both our lives…

there’s no repair between us
there’s nothing left to fight
i’ve fallen in the darkness
and you’ve left in the night

and i knew


image: goodbye for awhile, Merra Marie, creative commons usage