Tag Archives: love

In Defense of Our Overgrown Garden

A lucky find for me on the Poetry Foundation app, this. It was love at first confusion. I like a good thicket of words, and a love letter to thickets, to home, to love letters? With internal rhymes? Yes, please.

Click the title of the poem to listen.

In Defense of Our Overgrown Garden

Last night the apple trees shook and gave each lettuce a heart
Six hard red apples broke through the greenhouse glass and
Landed in the middle of those ever-so-slightly green leaves
That seem no mix of seeds and soil but of pastels and light and
Chalk x’s mark our oaks that are supposed to be cut down   
I’ve seen the neighbors frown when they look over the fence
And see our espalier pear trees bowing out of shape I did like that
They looked like candelabras against the wall but what’s the sense
In swooning over pruning I said as much to Mrs. Jones and I swear
She threw her cane at me and walked off down the street without
It has always puzzled me that people coo over bonsai trees when
You can squint your eyes and shrink anything without much of   
A struggle ensued with some starlings and the strawberry nets
So after untangling the two I took the nets off and watched birds
With red beaks fly by all morning at the window I reread your letter
About how the castles you flew over made crenellated shadows on   
The water in the rainbarrel has overflowed and made a small swamp
I think the potatoes might turn out slightly damp don’t worry
If there is no fog on the day you come home I will build a bonfire
So the smoke will make the cedars look the way you like them
To close I’m sorry there won’t be any salad and I love you

by Matthea Harvey, from Pity the Bathtub Its Forced Embrace of the Human Form

Why I Have a Crush On You, UPS Man

For all the people I know, including me, whose lives revolve around the mail. But especially for Abby.

Click the title of the poem to listen.

Why I Have a Crush On You, UPS Man

you bring me all the things I order
are never in a bad mood
always have a jaunty wave as you drive away
look good in your brown shorts
we have an ideal uncomplicated relationship
you’re like a cute boyfriend with great legs
who always brings the perfect present
(why, it’s just what I’ve always wanted!)
and then is considerate enough to go away
oh, UPS Man, let’s hop in your clean brown truck and elope!
ditch your job, I’ll ditch mine
let’s hit the road for Brownsville
and tempt each other
with all the luscious brown foods —
roast beef, dark chocolate,
brownies, Guinness, homemade pumpernickel, molasses cookies
I’ll make you my mama’s bourbon pecan pie
we’ll give all the packages to kind looking strangers
live in a cozy wood cabin
with with a brown dog or two
and a black and brown tabby
I’m serious, UPS Man. Let’s do it.
Where do I sign?

by Alice N. Persons, taken from Good Poems, American Places

Love Poem

Happy Sunday to my sweetheart.

Click the title of the poem to hear it.

Love Poem

I live in you, you live in me;
We are two gardens haunted by each other.
Sometimes I cannot find you there,
There is only the swing creaking, that you have just left,
Or your favourite book beside the sundial.

by Douglas Dunn from Terry Street

Aimless Love

I’ve never been a really big Billy Collins fan. He’s very good, but for whatever reason he doesn’t give me the fervor. One of my dearest friends really loves him, though, and a few months ago she sent me the 8th stanza of this poem typed onto a piece of muslin. It hangs on my bulletin board. I read the whole poem, and it struck all the chords I usually miss with him. I am prone to falling in brief and aching love with a glimpsed tableau, and this poem captures both the heat and the detachment of that experience so beautifully.

Aimless Love

This morning as I walked along the lakeshore,
I fell in love with a wren
and later in the day with a mouse
the cat had dropped under the dining room table.

In the shadows of an autumn evening,
I fell for a seamstress
still at her machine in the tailor’s window,
and later for a bowl of broth,
steam rising like smoke from a naval battle.

This is the best kind of love, I thought,
without recompense, without gifts,
or unkind words, without suspicion,
or silence on the telephone.

The love of the chestnut,
the jazz cap and one hand on the wheel.

No lust, no slam of the door –
the love of the miniature orange tree,
the clean white shirt, the hot evening shower,
the highway that cuts across Florida.

No waiting, no huffiness, or rancor –
just a twinge every now and then

for the wren who had built her nest
on a low branch overhanging the water
and for the dead mouse,
still dressed in its light brown suit.

But my heart is always propped up
in a field on its tripod,
ready for the next arrow.

After I carried the mouse by the tail
to a pile of leaves in the woods,
I found myself standing at the bathroom sink
gazing down affectionately at the soap,

so patient and soluble,
so at home in its pale green soap dish.
I could feel myself falling again
as I felt its turning in my wet hands
and caught the scent of lavender and stone.


The last two years have been the hardest years of my life. Hard because I made them that way; hard because I looked at my life and realized that I wasn’t all the way in it, and I wanted to get all the way in it. I woke up and looked around and knew that I had to change a lot of things. So I set about changing them.

Here’s the thing about saying yes: once you start, it becomes an incredible betrayal of what you’ve already done to stop saying yes. No one warned me about that. It would not have stopped me, in any case. But when I started making changes in my life, I think I believed that was a finite process. Change this thing about my habits, check. Change this thing about my body, check. Change this thing about where I live, what I want, what I do, check, check, check. But as I made these changes and my life opened up before me and I began to know myself, my real self, the way I want to be, the light that poured into my life showed a thousand little cracks and fissures and flaws. All things that needed more yes.

So I’ve gone on saying yes, and making changes and growing and reshaping and learning. And it has been rough and glorious. It’s still rough, and I don’t really expect it to stop being rough any time soon. But the glorious is so big, and I’m incredibly grateful for this life that I’m all the way in.

Here’s why.

My friends, both here and in Chicago, have cheered me on, have dried my tears, have given me their homes and their helping hands and their loving support. They have literally fed and clothed me, before, during and after the move. I would not be sitting here calm and happy and typing without them. No, seriously, they gave me the laptop, too. My friends, all of them, are tough, tender, smart and daring people, and everything important that I know about being a person, I learned from them.

I love a good man, an amazing man, and he loves me. He delights in my good days, and he lightens my hard days; he tells me his triumphs and struggles, and lets me share in them, too. He makes me think, he makes me laugh, and he never lets me forget that I’m beautiful.

My family, immediate and extended, are more present in my life than ever before. My brother and his wife have been life-savers to me this year, and seeing my niece and nephew every week is a sweet and hilarious joy beyond compare. My parents have brought all of us together through the time they’re spending with my grandparents in Virginia. One of my cousins set up a family email list a couple of years ago, and I’ve been so happy to get to know my (very far-flung) family and their lives through the easy grace of email.

This apartment is warm and light and comfortable and all my own. In an age of want, I’m truly grateful for my home. I know I’m lucky to have it, and the peace and solitude and comfort that it gives me.

I have good work, that I enjoy and that I do well. It connects me to myself, and to other people; it brings me satisfaction and curiosity and new things to think about all the time.

I could keep going indefinitely. There are books to be thankful for, and tools to be grateful for, and Donkey Kong and Sonic the Hedgehog and the gym and my growing love for shrieky metal music. There is the postal service, and Trimet and Netflix and street art and the beautiful bridges of Portland. There is the magic of Google and the stuff they made that pretty much runs my life. But there are also kids to be cuddled, and wine to be poured and pie to be eaten, and you’ve probably got a turkey in the oven. So I’m going to stop here.

Today is Thanksgiving. I wish you a happy one, and I say thank you. I say yes.