A story in love verse

Suddenly by Paul Hetherington

Suddenly she’s there,
yet I, who would hold her,
know her like a great white bird
settling in my mind, nesting, preening.
Or she’s almost all opacity;
a collision of sense and nonsense;
some place I would inhabit
but fail to fully see-
a mind’s malfunction
and contraction of thought;
a flurry of caress and recollection
that I cannot attest to;
an astronomer coming back to earth
after centuries of travelling distances
as starry and incomprehensible
as infinity crawling through abstract thought.
Yet I see her in a bathroom
wrapped in a white towel
and there’s no distance
between what I know and would have;
what was and what might be- as if every absence
has been siphoned and sluiced away.
She leans forward to speak
as image and word
dissolve into unruly days.

say skin by Rachael Petridis

and you will know
the dark eyes of the Mediterranean
look into them
open sparkling alive

look into them
then and now look close
know the people
marbled from their past
plying oceans and rivers
their myths from secret tombs
are flesh
mouthing your welcome

say skin
and you will know love
of land of woman
hair flowing dark and long
mantle of mountain and valley
length and breadth of tongue
singing mask and bone

inhale sea
sweep of sky
know intimacy the islands
whispering salt and sail
wind tunnelled furrows
and the low mourn
of the bent olive tree

say skin
Manna’s sweet-running sap
pine and cedar bark and pith
tears of mastic
and you will know
the one deep pool eye
of face of map

say skin

Afterphase by Andrew Lansdown

In the loll and lull
of love’s afterphase

her face is flushed,
her hair is mussed and

her mouth is curved
in shy contentment,

signalling her heart
shares her body’s

softness towards me.

Sunday Evening by Bronwyn Lovell

Outside the world is silent
after a light fall of rain that
must have come while we
were not looking or caring
for anything more
than each other.

You- here, still sleeping,
your nakedness curled into
flannelette sheets and your breathing,
rhythmic and deep, while possums
shuffle across the roof
like heavy-footed neighbours.


I have kept you up too late again, my love
by Maree Dawes

whispering to you of love and secrets
past midnight
then waking at each switch of starscape
to notice what is hidden
or revealed in changing dark

I have woken you too early
because in my half waking
I must rediscover
skin mouths breath
shift the veil
between dreams and life

I have woken you early
there is time for tea
and oranges

in the afternoon
I will feel sleepy
and write apologies

I am sorry I kept you up too late and woke you up so early
but I cannot promise not to do these things again.

– From Australian Love Poems 2013, edited by Mark Tredinnick

Posted by Sarah

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