Love Poem #3

I used to hear an orchestra
when I heard your name.
A smooth vibrato of climaxing violins,
the soft but lovely tremolo from the violas
with the cello’s bellowing bowed brilliance
shining like diamonds in the moonlight.

A collection of the finest musicians
played out your name as if
it was the most wonderful combination
of melody and harmonies
in front of a sold out crowd
heard by the public for the first time.
The lights dimmed –
my eyes fought the dark to catch glimpses
of the music as it took our souls
and lifted us above everything
to a place we only dreamt.

The darkness moved to corners of the room.
We jumped up to applaud, not just with hands
but with hearts and souls behind the thunderous roars.
The greatest symphony written and it was your name.

Yes – I used to hear an orchestra
when I heard your name.
Now all I can listen to is a bowed screech
from the cello,
a misplaced finger,
and unseasoned hand holding the bow
too close to the bridge.

Thomas Dunn

A Night In

When you loved me
I was a television remote
with hundreds of buttons to push.

I could have been a vending machine
with salt and vinegar chips, a chocolate cream bar.
N6 would give free candy for life.

The problem with that small equation
and the function of mechanical arts
is that all I wanted was the pressure of your fingers
on the Braille number keypad across my chest.

As time for a snack break came and went,
each lonely candy bar melted in my hands.
Each unwatched channel faded to white,
but my DVR recorded it as an important event.

Then came the noise of someone else
chewing in the other room,
the sound of Brad Pitt from the love seat.

So when the cable was disconnected
and my middle layer left uneaten,
I devoured it myself one night
and only blinked one thousand times
to clear the snow from my screen.

Douglas Campbell

Just a Couple of Words

Usual and casual: they look good together;
like a pair of sandy camels in a desert caravan,
loose and meandering from oasis to cool oasis.
They carry cargo in canvas bags.

The components of cargo in the canvas bags
fit together like Tetris blocks.

This is what I love about words:
Not the feeling, but the fitting.
Could this flock of words be a poem
if no one’s heart is bleeding?

Patrick Shaw


Lighting a sour cigarette in
the middle of the night.
I slowly slide the wet window open
so the smoke doesn’t crawl on eight legs
underneath my door, screaming murder
to wake up dreaming friends.

I can only exhale so many gray clouds
before a fire ignites beneath my bed,
dancing out of my doorway,
engulfing my charred body
in black flames.

Melissa Demott