Tag Archives: romance

Ode to an Idol

I wrote some really terrible poetry when I was a teenager. In amongst all the mawkish dross there are only a couple of poems that I’m prepared to own up to having written, and this is one of them. I’m not exactly sure when I wrote it, but I think it was around the age of 18. The idol of the title is John Taylor of Duran Duran, whose poster I had on my wall for a while. Well, okay – a few years. What was I thinking?! 😀

*

There he hangs on the wall of my bedroom,
Incomplete, just his torso and head.
And in case one dark night magic brings him to life,
He’s strategically placed by the bed!

Up ’til now he’s remained unresponsive
To the kiss he receives every day,
Yet I still find him strangely attractive,
In a flat, two-dimensional way.

What would be the reaction, I wonder,
Of this man, who’s seen models undressed
Glimpsing me in my bri-nylon nightie?
I doubt if he’d be too impressed.

He’s unlikely to get all excited
At the sight of my goose-pimpled skin
Clad in heavyweight undies from Tesco’s
As I squeeze out a spot on my chin.

And he’d hardly be thrilled to discover
All the terrible secrets I keep,
Like my habit of picking my toenails
Or the way that I snore in my sleep.

But hold on! Just a sec! Wait a minute!
Even heroes can have feet of clay,
And if flesh could be moulded from paper
All my daydreams might flutter away.

I could find him a self-centred moron
And his cool conversation a bore.
He might suffer severe halitosis;
Leave his smalls in a heap on the floor.

So I think I’ll stop dangerous dreaming,
‘Cos I really prefer him like this –
A tongue that is nothing but pixels
Can’t get stuck on my brace when we kiss.

 

(C) Helen Lewis, 1983(-ish)

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The gift

                                                                                             

You give me love. Its frame is cracked,

its silvered face is pock-marked black.                                                                                              

 

You say, ‘It’s only second-hand,’

I squeeze your arm. I understand.

 

I hang your present in the hall.

I screw it tight so it won’t fall.

 

I gaze beyond the glass and wood.

I never knew I looked this good.

 

 (C) Helen Lewis, 2006

 

 

 


August

 

The distant hills, patched dusty green and gold,

Dissolve and ripple in the evening haze,

And rivers trace a winding azure web

Through sunlit fields where lazy cattle graze.

 

Just here, knee deep in waving meadow grass,

The sinking sun still warm against my cheek,

A sighing ash disturbs the heavy hush.

My heart stands still. I’d swear I heard you speak.

 

I lie down under weeping willow boughs,

Where clouds of midges dance against the blue,

And close my eyes to ease my memory

Back to that short, hot summer spent with you.

 

Now interfering sight is out of mind,

My other senses exercise their skill,

Conspire against my crashed and burned-out heart

To make believe you’re lying with me still.

 

The feathered grass that strokes my goosebumped skin

Mimics your restless touch – a callous plot!

The gentle breeze that plays across my lips

Becomes your breath, so tender, sweet and hot.

 

The soothing swish of branches in the wind

Echoes your urgent whisper in my ear,

That everything you’ll ever need in life,

Is everything you have right now, right here.

 

But everything I gave was not enough

To tame the wayward fire of your love.

And now the chill of nightfall closes in,

While drifts of stars dust indigo above.

 

The distant hills, washed dusky grey and mauve,

Smudge out to shadows now, as darkness grows,

And rivers trace a glinting silver web,

Through moonlit fields where drowsy cattle doze.

 

While shards of your deception stab me still,

Our supernova joy explodes the pain.

And even though I sit at wisdom’s feet,

If you stood here, I’d rise, and fall again.

 

(C) Helen Lewis, 2004


‘How to…’ or ‘A woman’s guide to flirting’

 

How to send an astronaut into orbit:

            Ask him how much thrust his rocket produces.

                        Tell him he’s go for insertion.

                                    Show him you can perform a docking manoeuvre.

 

How to inflame a fireman:

            Ask him if you can try on his helmet.

                        Tell him you like his hose.

                                    Show him you can administer mouth-to-mouth.

 

How to sweet-talk a chef:

            Ask him if you can toss his salad.

                        Tell him mouth-feel is all-important.

                                    Show him how extensive your menu is.

 

How to hang on to a rodeo rider:

            Ask him if you can ride his bull.

                        Tell him he’s stayed on the longest.

                                    Show him how strong your inner thighs are.

 

How to tie a yoga instructor in knots:

            Ask him how long he can hold it.

                        Tell him you’ve studied Tantra.

                                    Show him your best wide-angled leg pose.

 

How to talk dirty to a health inspector:

            Ask him if he comes here often.

                        Tell him you need scrubbing down.

                                    Show him what you can do with a pair of Marigolds.

 

 (C) Helen Lewis, 2006


The first leaf of autumn

i

Phaedra the wood nymph sings and dances, showering the glade with rose petals. She is naked apart from a chain of daisies around her head. As she sways, her long hair swings. Suddenly she stops.

‘Who’s there?’ she calls. ‘Show yourself!’

A young man emerges from a bush. He has sun gold hair and sky blue eyes, and his garments are willow green.

‘I am Summer,’ he says, ‘deity of the season. I wander the earth at this time of year, inspecting my handiwork.’

‘I am not your handiwork,’ says Phaedra. ‘You have no right to inspect me.’

 

ii

Dear Diary,

You’ll never guess what happened today! I was singing and dancing in the nude like I always do, and this bloke popped up out of a bush and told me he was a god. A god!!!! I was totally gobsmacked — you don’t get to meet gods very often. Actually, I did meet one once, but he was old and ugly and full of himself, so he doesn’t count. And this one was abso-bloody-lutely gorgeous! He tried to kiss me and I didn’t stop him. I think I’m in lurve!

 

iii

From: bunny@yahoo.com

To: freeze_ur_butt@gmail.com; misty@hotmail.com

Subject: Our wayward brother

Brothers,

It has come to my attention that Summer has declared his love for the wood nymph Phaedra.

It is not fitting for a deity to become romantically involved with a semi-mortal.

We need to take action.

Spring

Vernal Deity

____________

From: freeze_ur_butt@gmail.com

To: bunny@yahoo.com; misty@hotmail.com

Subject: Re: Our wayward brother

I reckon wood nymphs are fair game. I tried to cop off with Phaedra myself once, and she gave me the cold shoulder. If I can’t have her, then I don’t see why anyone else should.

I agree that we’ve got to do something.

Coldly,

Winter

__________

From: misty@hotmail.com

To: freeze_ur_butt@gmail.com; bunny@yahoo.com

Subject: Re: Our wayward brother

Hey guys,

I don’t think there’s anything we can do right now. It’s Summer’s time, you know? But when the first leaf of autumn falls, the mystical power thingy transfers to me, and I’ll do something rad.

Chill.

Your mellow brother,

Autumn (AKA Fall)

_________

 

iv

Summer is drawing

to a close. It rains all night

and in the morning

 

the lovers embrace

beneath a maple tree and

share tearful goodbyes.

 

‘I’ll come back next year,’

says Summer. ‘You better had,’

Phaedra whispers back.

 

As they pull apart

a leaf spins down towards the

puddle at their feet.

 

And then it happens.

Phaedra turns to stone right where

she’s standing; eyes wide,

 

fingers to lips, mouth

open in surprise. She won’t

dance and sing again

 

until Summer sneaks

back into the woods and the

roses bloom once more.

 

(C) Helen Lewis 2011


Dewey-eyed

(or Love in a Library)

 

On Monday

I got lost between Religion

and Metaphysics.

You hacked through Botany

to rescue me.

 

On Tuesday

I teetered on the kick step

in Literature and rhetoric

while you offered up a serenade

of Italian poetry.

 

On Wednesday

I said maybe Library relationships

weren’t such a good idea.

You said you appreciated

Satire and humour.

 

On Thursday I expounded

Platonic philosophy.

You said you were pinning your hopes on

Organic chemistry.

 

You spent the whole of Friday in

Argument and persuasion.

By the end of the day I’d

succumbed to your Magnetism.

 

On Saturday we forgot all about Ethics.

We spent the morning in Social interaction,

indulging in Public relations.

 

(C) Helen Lewis 2009


Lover boy

After Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun

 

My lover boy is nothing like a ten,

More like a two (I’m being generous).

He’s got a face like Jerry crossed with Ben,

His feet are rank, his farts are perilous.

His eyes are bad; he cannot see a thing,

And often goes out with his fly undone.

His knobbly knees look just like knots in string,

And where there once was hair, there now is none.

The only six-packs near his abdomen

Are those he drinks to make his belly fat.

I’m also pretty sure most normal men

Don’t bite and chew their toenails quite like that.

And yet I find him sexier by far

Than any footballer or movie star.

 

(c) Helen Lewis 2008


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