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Poems About Love And Conflict

Colleen has a Master’s degree in English Literature and is an author of stories and poetry focusing on the dynamics of human relationships

Poem One: Spring Symphony

Were I to orchestrate a melody
Which might convey the ambience of April,
Its starting notes would be of rain,
Warm, while retaining hints of wintry chill.

This rain would slowly fill a thirsting river,
Until its waters leaped to overflow
Upon the land, that earth and soil surrounding
Making its shoots grow green, invite the sun
To shape them, by soft light, from bud to bloom.

Birdsong would then enhance my symphony,
From thrush and skylark, nightingale or crow

If I could choose, my music would evoke
A sparrow, sipping dew from a rose petal

How can we know those thoughts our work might bring?
One can but wish these echoes, hailing spring,
Might urge awakening.


Poem Two: Tribute To My Mother

Knowing you has brought such joy to me,
As mother, mentor, partner, ally, friend,
Together facing heartbreak, victory;
Have any two shared more delight than we,
Laughing, as if laughter had no end,
Evoking by a word, each memory,
Echoing throughout our history,
Never jaded by reiteration,
Fresh as on the day they were created,
Effervescent, incandescent,
Enlivened by experience, insight.

Now, although divided by a sea,
Expanses cannot separate
Your spirit from my being.


Poem Three: Boundaries of Silence

When you are sad, my love springs to the fore,
I ache to take away, alleviate
Whatever hurt might lurk within its core.
Still, I hold back a little, hesitate.

Despite these many years we’ve lived as one,
Perhaps this is a path I must not follow,
One you feel forced to inch through on your own,
Unearthing depths which you alone can know.

Cursed with such caves myself, I understand
That need, indeed compulsion to explore
Those darkened caverns just beneath the land,
It would be wiser to evade, ignore.

Thus, we refrain, our tenderness too deep
To probe those silences we each must keep.


Poem Four: Bridge

Friendship can bridge an ocean of time.
Even when contact may not be maintained,
It waits in abeyance,
A quiet ebb tide,
Holding soft waves of timeless memories.


Poem Five: The Host Alone

Safe in his flat, unseen within its sanctum
He slugs and glugs his vodka, wine or rum
From hip-flask, jug, whatever glass or mug
Might be at hand, when he is seeking freedom,

In company, he acts with tact, decorum,
Spacing and timing sips of his elixir,
Striving to seem the gourmand, bon vivant,
Hosting a toast to any victory,
However trivial or self-created.
Welcomed as patron of whatever venue,
Chair of each forum.

At times, he wonders if his comrades guess
His seeming source of infinite largesse
Stems from the need to ease his emptiness,
Through draughts of laughter.

Where lies the line, that deadly demarcation
Between a boon companion and buffoon?
He fears the answer.


Poem Six: The Cost of Honesty

We watch our parents age, while so do we.
Despite our fight to shun reality,
Time forces its unwelcome company
In deepened aches, the scale, and worst, our mirror.
Still, as there is no other avenue,
We wince a bit, shrug, then continue
Our progress onward.

Yet, what of parents who, despite their age,
And ours as well, stay centred on our safety?
I find now, when unwise enough to mention
A routine test I’m planning to have done,
However filled with verve our conversation
Has been before, and strives to be thereafter,
Mom has recorded on some calendar
Perhaps in print, but I believe more likely
In her heart’s clock, its exact date and hour.
Then, on that evening, she is bound to say,
“How did your test go, pet?”
“Fine, I’m sure. At least I have no reason not to be.”

She hesitates, then says, “I’m certain, too.
Still, just before you left, they must have told you
How long you’ll need to wait until you know.”
“A week or so. They didn't say exactly.
Please, Mom, it makes me wretched when you fret.”
“I know it does. I won’t, I promise, sweetie.”
We both know the infeasibility
Of such a vow, and yet we must agree
To this soft fib, these easing words of fiction.

Thus far, exam results have shown no reason
For great concern regarding the near future.
Yet, at age forty-six, I know, one day,
My doctor might suggest a further X-ray,
Or voice those daunting words, “a biopsy?”

What will I tell Mom? She has always known
Whether in person or by telephone
The slightest hurt or anguish in my tone.
How will I shield her? I can only pray
Her spirit will be freed from earth before
A lab report compels me to convey
The pain of candor.


English Speaking Union

The poems by Colleen Swan were read by renowned actress and poet Margaret McCarthy at the English Speaking Union (ESU) New York Poetry Circle on March 30th 2015. The poetry of Susana H. Case and Rosalie Calabrese was also featured.

© 2013 Colleen Swan

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