Someone once said to me that poems ought not to need explanation, but some do. I differ in opinion because it suits me. This is a poem about Love and Love is not.

Before I knew anything hard or cruel
like the world is
I believed in fairy tales
with one dubious eye open – but even then
never wanted one
never thought Love would look a certain height or weight
or would gaze at me through eyes a certain colour
with skin a certain hue

I only hoped Love would be nothing
like I had seen in a movie or read in a book.
I hoped Love would be an new idea.

I hoped Love would be an anchor,
as steady as concrete or steel
and at the same time warm,
I wanted a paradox of my own to explore.

I hoped Love would feel strong
and sound like a cheerleader
believing each of my
mad, genius, over-sized and wonderful ideas
was in fact, wonderful.

I wanted to Love to find me wonderful, an endless curiosity.
An unending conversation.

Later the hard nature
of the world taught me
how I did not know
could not know
the touch or voice of Love,
the sound or the feel of it.

I spent long hours talking to
the stars and the moon instead
to the curve of the earth and rippling sea
cheeks made damp by
my own ocean of salt water
my days poured out like sand
a broken hour glass

I spoke aloud and asked
how I could not know the
sound of Love’s voice
after listening so long
unless I had never heard Love at all.

Before the Universe answered
in that long silent pause of breath that is
light reaching between two stars within my sight –
that long of a breath I was left waiting.

The Universe still did not answer me
but a feather fell at my feet saying
‘Love is itself, warm and waiting
stretched from the stars to the moon.’
But this truth I refused, my body shaking.

I climbed to my high place
stared out into the sea
in my smallest voice
whispered to the Silent in my silence.


It occurred to me perhaps
I knew what Love should be
because I knew so well
what Love was not.
I said to the Love strung between
the stars and the moon and the sea
‘Let it be kind, strong and generous
when Love comes to me.’

I met Love on a Thursday
but we did not recognise each other.
I was following feathers and
by the time I did see Love in
kindness, strength and generosity
I had learned that when Love is strong,
Love will probably be stubborn and
not all kindness is admirable but
there are other things that Love is.
Even kindness takes some getting used to.

Love was busy telling me
what Love is and is not
and Love didn’t want me.

I leaned in and learned the lesson anyway
what is was to listen and talk to Love
and then I returned to my high place
as close to the moon as I could stand
far above the sea, and said to the Universe

Now that I know what Love feels like,
sounds like and looks like –
I think I must talk to Love no more.

It occurred to me that silent or speaking,
telling me what is and what is not,
Love and the Universe are much the same.

And the Universe was still silent.