Tender

Tending to
Small hands
Hair flicking wide
Glinting eyes
Blinking love
Up to me
Head hovering
Under door frame
Burly gentle voice
Giant young hand
Filling holes
In roles of family

Tending always
My secret garden
Inside
Giant limbs and roots
Of memories
To swing on
In the dark hours
Back and forth
Soothing

Tender to
End of work
Ache between
My bones
Echoes of words
From a whole world
Of intimate meetings
Human voice evokes
Cure for hurt

Tending all
Cut stems
New roots
Shoots and leaves
Evergreen
Expanding
Untouched by
Frost or heat
Enclosed glasshouse
Weighted by reality
Preserved by families

Tenderqueer
Sharing spectrum
Kaleidescope
Of fondness
Love me tender
Sensitive receive
Touch of air
Words breathing
Responds anything
Unflinching
Appealing
Secret smiles
Unspoken words
Tenderly recalling
Time together
Fleeting

Kissing in churches

Empty bluestone vessels
Walls laden with ancient paint
A sociological observation
In contrast our lives full of whole
Bodies vibrant with first touch of spring
Blessing to exist in these times
Legitimate love
Handed down by generations
Of queer folk missing
In aisles of pews
Meeting in coffee booths
And under apple trees
Unseen walls of tapestries
Growing in knowledge
Of the extent of love
Found within and without
Needing a place to quieten
Suspend all judgement
Fall into arms of lover
All other notions
Idealised
Idea lies
I'd hear lies
A gift of the person
Placed before me
The spirituality of
A healthy dose of wonderment

Wall garden

Pink Floyd drilled into me
In flagrant courthouse
Discourse
Walls not meant for people
People not meant for walls
How many people did it take
How many shoulders climbed
For me to rise up
Brick by brick
Strength and grit not mine
Spending months surveying cracks
To push through other side
If only you had mentioned
The view above divine

Love like

A fingerprint
Of lover's name
Unique new note
Not one the same

Beautiful fingers
Of one fine hand
Silent wave
Siren's command

So rare and precious
Slender and long
Ever rehearsed
Perform one song

Some sit idle
Curled content
Pondering days
Love long spent

Mine a many
Instrumentalist
Strikes a chord
Tone long missed

Orchestral works
Of mindfulness
Conducted by
Pure hand of bliss

Secret archive

In the deep recesses
Of the palace
Of the mind
Quaint catalogue boxes
Sit idly weaving
Lacy silk
Gartered webs
Across time stained
Decks of cards
Full of chance
Now expired
No waste of space
In the twilight hours
They levitate and spin
Like Papillon on
A spring day
As bulbs emerge
From the clay
In cocoon of dream
Memories play
To lure me out
Of myself
To mingle with life
As it never happened
Inspire possibility
A springboard
To love well
To hope
For more

Glasshouse

Latent offerings
In seeds thousands
Of years old
Gifting us with
Time capsule
In flower now
Coveted secrets
Love long-held
Won or spurned
Walks with strut
On city streets
Still hopeful hides
In country towns
Here is my flower
On show socials
Screens, streets
Cafe cakes movies
Magic roundabouts
Lit up like spaceship
Everywhere gifts
Of love like
Familiarity
In hands and lips
Smooth as silk
One long missed
Rarest flower
Blooms behind glass
On show, set apart
Seeds never sown
On her own hearing
You are loved

I’ll fly away

A word from you is like
Shock of a cool waterfall
After climbing over canyon

'You are always
In my heart and
In my longing'

An embrace swallows me
Like a river finding
Ocean home forever

'Never possible to leave..
Love-anchor held me there'

Waiting as long day night
Anticipating rare flower
In dense forest blooming

'I had just found
The long-desired way
To your dearest heart'

Staring at stark blue sky
Years wondering weather
Turns so quickly like you

'Of course I want to
Come to you very much as I
Want to come to Heaven'

Mimicry parades in hundreds
Different ways though
Never whispers to you

'Sweetheart I always love you
More dearly than you know'

~ letter by Katharine Lee Bates to Katharine Coman, 1891. In The Love that Dares, by Smith & Vesey, 2022.