Art of love (book II) by Ovid

Andromache was tall,yet some report
Her Hector was so blind he thought her short.
At first what’s nauseous lessens by degrees;
Young loves are nice, and difficult to please.
The infant plant that bears a tender rind,
Reels to and fro with ev’ry breath of wind;
But shooting upward to a tree at last,
It stems the storm, and braves the strongest blast
Time will defects and blemishes endear,
And make them lovely to your eyes appear:
Unusual scents at first may give offence;
Time reconciles them to the vanquish’d sense.
Her vices soften with some kinder phrase;

Nor ask her age, consult no register,
Under whose reign she’s born, or what’s the year!
If fading youth chequers her hair with white,
Experience makes her perfect in delight;
In her embrace sublimer joys are found,
A fruitful soil, and cultivated ground!
The hours enjoy whilst youth and pleasures last,
Age hurries on, and death pursues too fast.
Or plough the seas, or cultivate the land,
Or wield the sword in thy advent’rous hand;
Or much in love thy nervous strength employ,
Embrace the fair, the grateful maid enjoy;
Pleasure and wealth reward thy pleasing pains,
The labour’s great, but greater far the gains.
Add their experience in affairs of love,
For years and practice do alike improve,
Their arts repair the injuries of time,
And still preserve them in their charming prime;
In varied ways they act the pleasure o’er,
Nor pictur’d postures can instruct you more.
They want no courtship to provoke delight,
But meet your warmth with eager appetite;
Give me enjoyment, when the willing dame
Glows with desires, and burns with equal flame.21
I love to hear the soft transporting joys,
The frequent sighs, the tender murm’ring voice;
To see her eyes with varied pleasures move,
And all the nymph confess the pow’r of love.
Nature’s not thus indulgent to the young,
These joys alone to riper years belong;
Who youth enjoys, drinks crude unready wine,
Let age your girl and sprightly juice refine,
Mellow their sweets, and make the taste divide.
To Helen who’d Hermione prefer,
Or Gorge think beyond her mother fair;
But he that covets the experienc’d dame,
Shall crown his joys and triumph in his flame.
One conscious bed receives the happy pair;
Retire, my muse; the door demands thy care.
What charming words, what tender things are said,
What language flows without the useless aid!
There shall the roving hand employment find,
Inspire new flames, and make e’en virgins kind.
Thus Hector did Andromache delight,
Hector in love victorious, as in fight.
When weary from the field Achilles came,
Thus with delays he rais’d Briseis’ flame;
Ah, could those arms, those fatal hands, delight!
Inspire kind thoughts, and raise thy appetite!
Coulds’t thou, fond maid, be charm’d with his embrace,
Stain’d with the blood of half thy royal race.


The Art of Love (Book I) by Ovid

In Cupid’s school, whoe’er would take degree
Must learn his rudiments by reading me,
Seamen with sailing art their vessels move;
Art guides the chariot: art instructs to love.
Of ships and chariots others know the rule;
But I am master in Love’s mighty school.
Cupid indeed is obstinate and wild,
A stubborn god; but yet the god’s a child:
Easy to govern in his tender age,
Like fierce Achilles in his pupilage:
That hero, born for conquest, trembling stood
Before the centaur, and receiv’d the rod.
As Chiron mollified his cruel mind
With art; and taught his warlike hands to wind
The silver strings of his melodious lyre;
So love’s fair goddess does my soul inspire
To teach her softer arts; to sooth the mind,
And smooth the rugged breasts of human kind.

Yet Cupid and Achilles, each with scorn
And rage were fill’d; and both were goddess-born.
The bull reclaim’d and yolk’d, the burden draws:
The horse receives the bit within his jaws.
And stubborn love shall bend beneath my sway,
Tho’ struggling oft he tries to disobey.
He shakes his torch, he wounds me with his darts;
But vain his force, and vainer are his arts.
The more he burns my soul, or wounds my sight,
The more he teaches to revenge the spite.

I boast no aid the Delphian god affords,
Nor auspice from the flight of chattering birds,
Nor Clio, nor her sisters, have I seen,
As Hesiod saw them on the shady green:
Experience makes my work a truth so tried,
You may believe; and Venus be my guide.

Far hence ye vestals be, who bind your hair;
And wives, who gowns below your ancles wear.
I sing the brothels loose and unconfin’d,
Th’ unpunishable pleasures of the kind;
Which all alike for love or money find.

You, who in Cupid’s roll inscribe your name,
First seek an object worthy of your flame;
Then strive, with art, your lady’s mind to gain;
And last, provide your love may long remain.
On these three precepts all my work shall move:
These are the rules and principles of love.

Momus, God of Laughter by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Though with gods the world is cumbered,
Gods unnamed, and gods unnumbered,
Never god was known to be
Who had not his devotee.
So I dedicate to mine,
Here in verse, my temple-shrine.

‘Tis not Ares,–mighty Mars,
Who can give success in wars.
‘Tis not Morpheus, who doth keep
Guard above us while we sleep,
‘Tis not Venus, she whose duty
‘Tis to give us love and beauty;
Hail to these, and others, after
Momus, gleesome god of laughter.

Quirinus would guard my health,
Plutus would insure me wealth;
Mercury looks after trade,
Hera smiles on youth and maid.
All are kind, I own their worth,
After Momus, god of mirth.

Though Apollo, out of spite,
Hides away his face of light,
Though Minerva looks askance,
Deigning me no smiling glance,
Kings and queens may envy me
While I claim the god of glee.

Wisdom wearies, Love has wings –
Wealth makes burdens, Pleasure stings,
Glory proves a thorny crown –
So all gifts the gods throw down
Bring their pains and troubles after;
All save Momus, god of laughter.
He alone gives constant joy.
Hail to Momus, happy boy.

God Says Yes To Me by Kaylin Haught

I asked God if it was okay to be melodramatic
and she said yes
I asked her if it was okay to be short
and she said it sure is
I asked her if I could wear nail polish
or not wear nail polish
and she said honey
she calls me that sometimes
she said you can do just exactly
what you want to
Thanks God I said
And is it even okay if I don’t paragraph
my letters
Sweetcakes God said
who knows where she picked that up
what I’m telling you is
Yes Yes Yes

Alone by Walter de la Mare

A very old woman
Lives in yon house—
The squeak of the cricket,
The stir of the mouse,
Are all she knows
Of the earth and us.

Once she was young,
Would dance and play,
Like many another
Young popinjay;
And run to her mother
At dusk of day.

And colours bright
She delighted in;
The fiddle to hear,
And to lift her chin,
And sing as small
As a twittering wren.

But age apace
Comes at last to all;
And a lone house filled
With the cricket’s call;
And the scampering mouse
In the hollow wall.

Eternal Resting Rainbow by Bonnie Collins

Tides have rushed in and taken
the time that was given to us, it
marched in and captured the very
epitomy of our souls, and left us
each in a well filled without the
slightest hint of a light, but like
our love, it withstood the fate
of its endless journey

Time has passed and once in
awhile, still, looking into not
away from, and still can see
beyond the the depth of our
tender hearts

Love is, was, and always will
be the number one for both of
us, but not to be loved together,
we have searched our lives and
each has given the other the
respect that we each deserve
and have made that dying vow
that will take us to our eternal
resting rainbow……..

Sometimes the hills by Joan Webster

Sometimes the hills from my window are just a flat blue wash.

Sometimes every tree stands out as light’s fingers part their hair, search strands, grooming.

Sometimes with sunset looming when glow steals over paddock-scars, the green turns gold.

Always the never-satisfied clouds – silver linings flaunted or concealed beneath black combat jackets – never certain, never still, redo their disguises, redraft roles

(How do I look this way?)

soft heads toss, nonchalantly preening in the mirror of their skies.

Sometimes pairs of birds fly past, living in the now.

Liminal, the moment lingers.


Poem of the Year, Australian Poetry, December, 2014
Published in Australian Poetry Bulletin
Find it on:

The Dependable Blackness of Ink by Michele Aynesworth

There comes a moment when
life’s treasures tumble
like kaleidoscope shards

and the moving warmth of human flesh
gives way to the stillness of words
pinned in the middle of a book –

that moment when you reach out to feel
not the flow of hair or the rhythm of fingers
but the steady presence of a printed page,

and the color of your loved one’s eyes
becomes subsumed by
the dependable blackness of ink.

Here I Am by Emmylou Harris

I am standing by the river
I will be standing here forever
Tho you’re on the other side
My face you still can see
Why won’t you look at me
Here l am

I am searching thru the canyon
It is your name that I am calling
Tho you’re so far away
I know you hear my plea
Why won’t you answer me
Here I am

I am in the blood of your heart
The breath of your lung
Why do you run for cover
You are from the dirt of the earth
And the kiss of my mouth
I have always been your lover
Here I am

I am the promise never broken
And my arms are ever open
In this harbor calm and still
I will wait until
Until you come to me
Here I am