Today’s prompt (optional, as always). Love poems are a staple of the poetry scene. It’s pretty hard to be a poet and not write a few – or a dozen – or maybe six books’ worth. But because so many love poems have been written, there are lots of clichés. Fill your poems with robins and hearts and flowers, and you’ll sound more like a greeting card than a bard. So today, I challenge you to write a “loveless” love poem. Don’t use the word love! And avoid the flowers and rainbows. And if you’re not in the mood for love? Well, the flip-side of the love poem – the break-up poem – is another staple of the poet’s repertoire. If that’s more your speed at present, try writing one of those, but again, avoid thunder, rain, and lines beginning with a plaintive “why”? Try to write a poem that expresses the feeling of love or lovelorn-ness without the traditional trappings you associate with the subject matter.
After the Jettison
Room after room the silence folds in
no muffled chatter of keyboards behind a closed door
nor muted music just below the level of interpretation
there’s no visual clutter here, no tossed heaps of unclean clothes
My sink holds no whisker wisps, nor spent soggy teabags,
and no discarded cheese wrappings on kitchen counter.
What vacant really means. A sense of adios, ciao, adieu
without the sad songs on my radio. In calm air,
my sense of self returns to me. Bonjour, ¡Hola!
and happy music.
Carol A. Stephen
April 4, 2015