Poem up at Dust Poetry!

Thank you to editor Tara Wheeler for selecting my poem, “Trace,” for inclusion in Dust Poetry’s gorgeous Portrait issue. I’m particularly touched by Tara’s heartfelt message of appreciation for the poetry community in her editor’s note for this issue. It means a great deal to me as a contributor to know how much the editor values the artists’ voices her publication represents. This is what it’s all about!

I’m also especially excited by the timing of this issue’s release, because it just so happens that I will be reading this poem to my husband-to-be in our (socially distanced…) marriage ceremony TOMORROW, September 25, 2020!

Anniversary #18

Mike and I celebrated our 18th anniversary on January 23, 2016, but I thought this poem would make a great post for Valentine’s Day… The photo I’ve chosen to accompany my poem is of a bird I’m particularly in love with — he is a Cob named Bryn, and he is the devoted mate to a Pen, Wynn. They are a glorious pair whose annual brooding and chick rearing on the moat of Bishop’s Castle in Wells are meticulously covered by brilliant photographer, Will Glenn. In this shot, Bryn’s industrious foraging in support of his mate and their progeny is not only noble and adorable, but it reminds me of Mike’s constant efforts to be a nurturing, responsible husband and father, and ever-evolving human being, who inspires me in more ways than I could ever express!

To all you lovebirds out there:

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

bryn_s_bottom_by_earthhart-d8efjc7

Photo by Will Glenn: EarthHart.deviantart.com

An engineer has just so much to say
With breath, enthusiasm, eye-contact—
And words seldom emerge in shades of gray,
But it’s your love that keeps my heart intact.

You’ve seen me at my worst and never balked,
You’ve seen me giving birth, begging for drugs,
Stood by when even I could not have talked,
And let me hide while you’ve dispatched gross bugs.

Your actions are a testament to Love
That has no need of meter, trope, or rhyme—
Lip-service, poets know, is not enough
To build a life that stands the test of time.

For eighteen years (and more!) I’ve loved you—that’s no bull!
I know I’m blessed to have a heart that feels so full!

STEPHANIE L. HARPER