#ValentinesDay ##ValentinesDay2022 I will feature your published/unpublished poetry/short prose/artworks. Please include a short third person bio.

improved viMusic Practice

You close your lips around the reed,
hold it gently between your teeth,
tender as a lover’s nip;
your tongue searches it,
breath searches it;

your fingers move across the keys
and there is music:
the sliding notes of Gershwin,
its slow harmonics
blue and beautiful.

I listen, think,
how it might be if
the thing you played instead
was me.

-Beth Brooke

Duetting with you and Mahler

Place the polished curves so
gently beneath your dimpled chin;
now let your nimble fingers flirt
with the eager well-tuned strings.

Tilt your head, flick back your
flowing mane of chestnut curls,
pick up your resined bow, balance
it lightly in your sensitive hand

and let your music sing out:
pure purring notes of unchained ecstasy
rising up within you, chaste and unblemished
like a fresh spring dawn.

I could be that violin, your Muse,
your heart’s delight and desire,
making music with you, responding
to the plea of the plaintive strings;

strong chords of passion in crescendo,
vibrating, echoing through time and space;
now gentle pizzicato, now with the timbre
of a D sharp minor tryst.

Together we could fashion new melodies,
broadcast Mahler-esque symphonies to the world,
hearts brimming over with pride
as the duet seals our lovers’ knot.

-Margaret Royall


Something worth fighting for,
[after a book title, by Reg Gadney]

I’ve been in love before—
I’m old now,
and unsure;
too old, too tired to care.

This loving you is neither
wise nor good, and
I am well content
with my dear melancholy.

There is nothing good in
this new longing
to be near you,
to love you, to hold you dear.

I had no wish to awaken long
dead phantom – lust,
and love you, love you,
love you – as I do. I must.

Estranged from passion,
inured to loss
too old, too tired to trust myself
to ever be in love again.

How can I believe – you do!
that our late-flowering love
is something –
so worth fighting for?

©️ March, 2019

Not that I miss you?

I’m well enough
without you—thanks,
I love my home,
I live alone and
I don’t miss you.

This morning
I awakened alone—
the sun shone!
Why! that’s bliss!
I don’t miss you.

Today: a working
on-my-own day;
I’m not lonely—
I’m writing well—
I don’t miss you.

I didn’t let you go,
never caught you,
didn’t own you;
I left to be alone,
and I don’t miss you.

I found something like
bliss with you –
Did you with me?
I love you. I do,
still I don’t miss you.

Later, this evening
I’ll dine alone,
an open book,
and the radio on—
I’ll not miss you.

I sleep on my own
in a single bed –
the best I have known
was with you! Why
don’t I miss you.

©️ Lesley Storm: May 2018

Old Love

dusts the surfaces,
vacuums the carpets,

mop and buckets the tiles,
scrubs the toilet and bath,

lumps laundry basket to machine,
hangs clothes on the horse,

irons and puts on hangers,
changes bedclothes,

scrubs inside windows,
cooks and serves up,

washes dirty pots, puts wet ones
on draining board, dries and puts away.

Yes, dear,

You forgot our anniversary.
The kids need new shoes.

Roof is leaking.
I need a new car.

Fence has blown down.
Boiler’s broke.

I can manage the steps, thankyou.
I did remember, it was you forgot.

I don’t know why you bother
Asking as you never remember
What I say anyway

I hate you.
I love you.

Our love

is emergency
pull to open.

Used tickets please.

Tickets accepted
as advertised.

Please hold on
to your ticket.

If you have any comments
or concerns.

Our love is service signs
meant to assist onward travel.

Bios And Links

-Lesley Storm

was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1953, Following a thirty year hiatus, she began writing poetry again and performing in her sixties. She is a member go the Edinburgh based ‘Heretics’. Her first full collection. ‘It’s about Time’ was published by Leamington Books in 2021.

-Margaret Royall

has been widely published in print and online. She has won/or been s-listed in several competitions and was nominated for the Laurel Prize in 2021.

Website: https://margaretroyall.com/ Twitter:@RoyallMargaret

-Beth Brooke

is a retired teacher. She lives in Dorset. Her debut collection, A Landscape With Birds will be published by Hedgehog Press this year.

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