February 14th. Mark it, or don’t. Either way, it’s coming; hot and heavy on your calendar, shop fronts and social media feeds.
For some, it’s the hallmark of love, officiated by rose bouquets and boxed chocolates. For others, it’s a Bridget Jones meme, where one sits in solitude, eating last-weeks Thai takeaway. It’s self-love, staying back late at work, a venery escapade and a mother-daughter movie night. Really, it’s whatever you want it to be. Each year, Valentine’s Day gives me the ripe opportunity to celebrate, poke fun at and narcissistically make my single ass feel better. This February 14th, I decided to write three poems that explores the themes surrounding Valentine’s Day. It’s identity, pain, sex, confusion and discovery. Part heartfelt, part humour – it’s love.
Vomited in red,
hurled up in glitter.
A cheap, capitalised trick,
a commercial transmitter.
But fine, I’ll play along –
here’s benefit of the doubt.
Romance and endearment:
that’s what it’s all about.
A teddy for you,
a tissue for me.
The Grinch or Cupid,
which one will I be?
It’s a chance for first-timers,
or unavoidable nostalgia.
New lovers meeting,
a broken hearts reminder.
Is it self-love at home,
or a candle-lit dinner?
Ooh, a Galentine’s party,
maybe re-installing Tinder!
Well, regardless of what you do
and who you do it with,
Have a beautiful, loved-up day,
Or spoon Ben & Jerry’s from the tin.
Tag, You’re It!
Single, taken, it’s complicated. We’re a society of labels.
Categories and fixed identities, is sexuality now stable?
Polyamorous or monogamous; well, anything goes.
Casual sex vs commitment: intimacy juxtaposed.
LGBT, and the +, minus heterosexuality.
Experimenting phases, and biblical virginity.
Lust or love, can you get the two confused?
Privacy and passion, mixed signals effused.
Masculine or feminine, why can’t we be both?
Orientation and gender, an androgynous approach.
It’s terms and technology: somatic understanding,
But can we just love, without a need for branding?
But please, be proud – wave your flag and riot,
Or be closeted, take your time, and keep your life private.
In a world full of choice, possibilities go so far,
But just know you’re worthy and loved,
exactly as you are.
What is Love?
What is love? No, really, answer the question.
Is it a feeling, a person, a mathematical equation?
Like a colloquial language, we speak it everyday,
There’s so much to love, we can’t possibly say!
We love this song, that dress, the sitcom ‘Friends’,
Sleep-ins, pets and shopping-spree spends.
Be it a friend, teacher, or morning barista,
A mother, colleague, your little step-sister.
It’s in your home, your actions, those sincere words,
Sharing meals, a bank account, your Netflix password.
Old-fashioned romantics, or modern virtual love,
Vulnerable and powerful, a dichotomy thereof.
Do you listen? Do you laugh? Do you ardently fight?
Arguments, then sex; is that how you end the night?
It’s being loyal and honest – like spinach in the teeth.
Promising dreams aren’t just reserved for children’s stories and sleep.
Love is loving love, no matter what form or type,
A friend, a lover, a partner – they’re all worth the hype.
But maybe, I got it all wrong. It’s too big a word for me,
What if I’ll never know it’s raw, unconditional meaning?
Well I guess I’ll plod along, and do the best I can,
Endless trials of success and failure, only to begin again.
*I cannot repeat it enough; I am not a poet. I don’t do sonnets, my words only semi-rhyme and the rhythmic proses are not industry approved. But I like writing my own version of poetry – especially these. So, professional poets, please don’t come for me.