Tuesday, 14 February 2012

A Poem for Valentine's Day

And why not?

This poem was part of a series that was commissioned for a novel by Margaret Thomson Davis. I was asked to write a series of poems that charted the emotional and sexual growth of a young female art student. Poems that could be thread through the novel like journal entries by the young heroine. Initially, I threw my hands up in horror. As a man hurtling towards (coughs) middle age, what do I know about females in their teens? (In their adult years, for that matter)

Then I thought, ultimately, we all want the same things. Just different body parts, right? Anywho, this poem came in at the end of the series when our young artist got her shit together.

So, breathe. Get in the mindset. This is an entry in her journal the morning after ...

Inside I'm Dancing

Every step I take this morning
lands on a cushion of air.
All we did last night was kiss
and today you flavour everything
my mind touches.

Your voice sounds in the rumble
of a passing car. The valerian blue
of your eyes watch over me
reflected in every window
from here to there.

A boy with short, brown hair
gelled to spikes, holds his mother’s hand
while crossing the road. I see you
in the way the boy’s eyes tug at his mum,
checking she is still there.
The boy giving a little kick with each step
as if the promise of a future
 nips at his heels.

An old man at the bus stop, round
like Santa. You in fifty years.  Cheeks
bunched in a grin, wearing an apple blush
like last night when you brushed
my right breast with your arm.

Caught myself smiling at the old man,
wanting to know
how we carry the years,
yet don’t want to spoil the dance
of every blood cell through the chambers of my heart,
like millions of tiny breeze-blown flowers.

c. Michael Malone


  1. This is a lovely poem, so easy to visual the scenes described. Lucky author to have you writing alongside!

    1. Thank you, Terry for taking the time to say so.

  2. That is beautiful, Michael - so poetic and rich with meaning and feeling. Perfect for Valentine's Day.

  3. I think you captured the full emersion feeling of new love perfectly. It's true how you see the object of your affection at every turn.

    1. Thanks, LG. I'm surprised I could remember.

  4. You did a fine job, sir! I wouldn't have had a clue what to write.

    1. Thanks, Alex. I'm sure you would have thought of something.

  5. Spectacular as usual. Unbelievably universal. It should be made into a video. Are there more? Could you publish them as a collection since you wrote them? Just beautiful.

  6. Thanks, Livia. There were 4 (or was it 5) in the series. I was thinking about a mini collection with them - or waiting until I had more poems and releasing a full collection with them as part of it. I need to concentrate on the full-length works for the moment though. Maybe next year.

  7. I love the idea of you writing poems for that novel, it's a nice structure.

    1. yeah, it worked well, Dez. Over the years the same author has asked me to provide poems for 4 different novels. Its a nice combination.

    2. she, off course, mentions your name in the book, yes?

    3. Yes, she does. And keeps asking me for more so she can promote me.

  8. Whatever your age, you've still got it, my friend. Real poetry as usual.

  9. An interesting take for Valentine's Day as opposed to the usual sugar sweet stuff we're subjected to!Thought provoking.

    1. Thanks, Myra. Subtlety often gets abandoned when we go for writing about the big themes. My approach is always to go for concrete examples rather than general exclamations.

  10. Michael, I left a comment already, but it's gone awol. I said that it's not often you give us a wee look into your soft centre. I wish we could see more of it.

  11. Hi Joan, my soft centre is yours anytime.