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Love poems, through the times

To His Coy Mistress, Andrew Marvell 1681

Had we but world enough and time,

This coyness, lady, were no crime.

We would sit down, and think which way

To walk, and pass our long love’s day.

Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side

Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide

Of Humber would complain. I would

Love you ten years before the flood,

And you should, if you please, refuse

Till the conversion of the Jews.

My vegetable love should grow

Vaster than empires and more slow;

An hundred years should go to praise

Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;

Two hundred to adore each breast,

But thirty thousand to the rest;

An age at least to every part,

And the last age should show your heart.

For, lady, you deserve this state,

Nor would I love at lower rate.

But at my back I always hear

Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near;

And yonder all before us lie

Deserts of vast eternity.

Thy beauty shall no more be found;

Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound

My echoing song; then worms shall try

That long-preserved virginity,

And your quaint honour turn to dust,

And into ashes all my lust;

The grave’s a fine and private place,

But none, I think, do there embrace.

Now therefore, while the youthful hue

Sits on thy skin like morning dew,

And while thy willing soul transpires

At every pore with instant fires,

Now let us sport us while we may,

And now, like amorous birds of prey,

Rather at once our time devour

Than languish in his slow-chapped power.

Let us roll all our strength and all

Our sweetness up into one ball,

And tear our pleasures with rough strife

Through the iron gates of life:

Thus, though we cannot make our sun

Stand still, yet we will make him run.


The Shortest and Sweetest of Songs, George MacDonald (1824 – 1905) 

Come

Home. 


Come. And Be My Baby, Maya Angelou – April 1928 

The highway is full of big cars

going nowhere fast 

And folks is smoking anything that’ll burn 

Some people wrap their lives around a cocktail glass 

And you sit wondering 

where you’re going to turn. 

I got it. 

Come. And be my baby. 

Some prophets say the world is gonna end tomorrow 

But others say we’ve got a week got a week or two 

The papers is full of every kind of blooming horror 

And you sit wondering 

What you’re gonna do. 

I got it. 

Come. And be my baby. 


Why did I dream of you last night? Philip Larkin – 1939

    Why did I dream of you last night? 

   Now morning is pushing back hair with grey light 

  Memories strike home, like slaps in the face: 

Raised on elbow, I stare at the pale fog 

beyond the window. 

     So many things I had thought forgotten 

   Return to my mind with stranger pain:

 – Like letters that arrive addressed to someone 

Who left the house so many years ago


Mad Girl’s Love Song, Sylvia Plath – 1953

“I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;

I lift my lids and all is born again.

(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,

And arbitrary blackness gallops in:

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed

And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.

(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell’s fires fade:

Exit seraphim and Satan’s men:

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you’d return the way you said,

But I grow old and I forget your name.

(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;

At least when spring comes they roar back again.

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

(I think I made you up inside my head.)”


Frame, Linda Gregerson – May 1980

The tree that had patiently framed our view

turned on us once and swelled

with an issue of birds. Each orange breast

too large for its spine, they threatened to drop

and splatter like so many fruits. I’m frightened

of birds in the first place. In Illinois

they stay the right size and only come out by ones

and twos, but I won’t go barefoot. Remember

the crack of a wing in the grass? It was warmer

than grass.

I still think the window kept us straight. Twice

a day the light congealed, we could or couldn’t

see the bridge for fog. Either way was reassuring.

And if someone had asked, the branch was too parochial, we knew it

no? making order out of all that sky.

When better dyes arrived in the wagons of entrepreneurs,

the Navajo weavers knew craft and a past

from nostalgia: they began on brighter rugs.

At one point in the border of each, an erratic line

a single stitch wide joins the outside

to the pattern at the heart. On a spirit line,

does the spirit come in or depart? Our birds

had been eating what the rain turned up,

new rain got rid of the birds. I’m thinking of you.


(Natalia Tola Maldonado)

Natalia Tola Maldonado – August 2022

between

                   21 

and  

          23

  nothing can ever be be held like it’s  

yours

with one hand, life sweeps out 

every incoherent thought

                                  thinking we can own

the nights we invent on void, purple 

                                              computer algorithms 

internet fantasies 

         and the violent under eyes that follow

  only in my dreams i own the 

demons who sing my loneliness 

           the anarchist street art in my city  

the fools gold of loose change in my pockets that i’ll use to reach you apartment 

                                                         in 25 minutes 

and so, 

because now we can’t own anything 

                           we enjoy inventing 

like how with your long fingers, 

you tweaked the gold clock handles 

 backwards 

to add an extra milliseconds 

                                            to the  9:03 PM when  

  you whispered to me that love is a distraction 

from the worlds ticking atomic bombs 

yet the  

 impersonal skyscrapers blur into a million of colours and soft words 

                    because i am leaning closer to you  

and your blood-red hair is falling into my neck 

then 

i break my scripted first date persona 

to tell you that you’re cute

stop it you said 

                                         your words tickle me

so i chose to invent 

18th floor 

rooftop doctrines 

like thinking i can save you just because unlike you, i’m a romantic 

i chose to believe 

everything important starts out small

small like the birds with tiny black eyes 

                                               yellow, dumb jokes  

              perched on the top of aging houses

following us everywhere we go

 in a world with filled where these 

short-lived creatures can fly (and we can’t) 

in a world with broken wings 

where 

                          broken beer bottles

 in the ocean will outlive every single one of the wishes 

a world with so much 

improbability

i choose invent that our love is true 

because when i touched the side of your faces

              the lights of all the terrifying buildings 

imploded 

in the darkness that followed

if anyone lit up a match 

they would see you and me at your dinner table, just staring at each other 

a portrait of promises waiting to come out of ur lips 

i like you 

i like men who cry, 

                         take coffee with milk 

and hold my purse in long walks in the dark 


Natalia Tola Maldonado – September 2022

love is a white powdered drug 

sold by white hollywood 

and saying i don’t love writing about these tiny packages 

                                        is a white coloured lie

so i’ll continue to enjoy 

sweet cocktails and pathetic men 

(some of lives best tasting ironies)

(so easy to enjoy in warm sips 

like there’s unspoken meanings)

with round brown eyes 

wooden like café tables

(you told me mochas are the 

designated hot girl drink) 

so watching me visit your coffee shop

where they sell small oil paintings and 

                                      smaller double espressos 

 like i forgot you have a shift today 

just to get an artists high and 

write about your long fingers   

in my poetry , i’m not afraid of falling in love with them 

or the number of curls 

in that silly head of yours 

where you think that owning indie pop vinyls 

or saying you are 

      a man of few fucks 

somehow widens the distance between you being beautiful  or 

                                        forgettable 

and how i’ve longed to be in the underbelly of your 

pretense

find something in you that seems real outside affection in the darkness when your accent splits you open

but maybe true, romantic love 

 only exists in the pretty names of your 

                                           red bedroom candles 

 or the brackets of poetry

i wrote about you after our first summer date 

only to find it again months later

like ready-made fate and not 

chance 

when young people dream,

they sleepwalk into the creation 

or new universes 


For My Darling, Joe van Wonderen – January 29, 2023

I miss having your words in my head

I miss feeling your hair between my fingertips

I miss the way you smile after you laugh

I hope you’re happy

I hope it all works out lovely for you

I hope I’m being honest

I want to cry

I want to surrender

I want you Back

I wish that that last line didn’t remind me of Frank

I wish that that last line didn’t remind me of the summer when you told me about that song

I wish that that last line didn’t remind me of you

I am sorry that you were always so far

I am sorry that I hurt you

I am sorry that I have so much to be sorry for

I trust you know that you’re still in my phone

I trust you know that you’re still in my dreams

I trust you know that you belong with me

I thought we’d grow as we go

I thought you’d always be there

I thought I’d always be there

I hope that you’re happy, Darling

That love melts my eyes and knots my heart

I really hope you’re happy, as much as it stings all over to know it won’t be with me

I wish I had a poetic way to end my whine

But, I don’t, I miss you desperately


(Joe van Wonderen)

Lost In Translation, Joe van Wonderen – January 29, 2023

I want to see you as you see yourself

What happens as soon as you close the door

How do you laugh when no one else is around

What do you change when I enter your view?

What do you hide?

What lies do you tell?

How do you shudder when there’s no one to hold you?

Do you smell the flowers you’ve seen one thousand times?

When do you wake up with tears in your eyes?

I wish I could read you

Read you better than I read myself

What is in your margins and between your lines

Countless lifetimes could be spent on one of yours

Endless tomes filled with what I’ll never know

I only hope to get lost with you


Victor Grincourt – February 2023

What of you?

And so what have you become?

What of your thoughts, hopes, words?

What of those who not long ago would have wondered the same?

Was it all in vain? Despair? Or was it because of a held pain you could not bear.

I can’t be there as much as I yearn to.

It’ll only be a while before you learn too.

What of the time it’ll take?

What of you?

Cover image: Natalia Tola Maldonado

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