Love Poems

These poems were written during the spring of 1980. They reflect a time of inner confusion and yet quiet reflection, a time of bewilderment and yet of tremulous joy, a time of pain and yet of love… They are presented in the order in which they were written.

love poems
Sunshine drifting through fine wisps of hair;
breeze barely breathing;
warm ripples of velvet-soft air giggling gently,
amused to find stray wavelengths,
yellow shimmers,
bounced gently off translucent silken wisps.
I smile,
lips upturn –
imperceptibly almost –
dreams flit across gray eyes;
The ocean booms.
I am one.
And all.


Great place.
The big time.
Great bars.
(the stories I’ve heard:
fights, loving, parties, fights.
Always fights).
So here I am.
In Rupert.
The town that never sleeps.
(Maybe true.
If you know someone.
Alone, sitting, sipping,
sophisticated, alluring…
Cruised the west end.
The stories you hear in Masset…
the exciting west end.
So the street’s empty.
Excitement indoors?
Friend, where are you?
My bed is cold.

All the people wander in,
pause, look around… for what?
What do they seek –
The charming, debonair people
with their impeccable tastes,
the right clothes,
the practiced yet self-conscious
What do their eyes desire,
panoramic gaze taking in
the other charming, debonair patrons.
A shy smile,
a glimmer of recognition,
a flicker of interest,
eyes catching momentarily.
But –
eyes caught unexpectedly, pull away.
Kill the chance moment of contact.
Stuck up? Shy? Bored? Self-sufficient?
All alone.

Overheard conversations.
Piano chatters on.
Wisps of words.
Meaningless mumbles.
Phrases one catches.
Synapses click.
23 years ago when he was last here.
(Me too).
People visiting Rupert…
expecting so much, yet
(the voice is lost beneath the entertainment)
(But I’m relating).
Seattle, Tacoma
(I’ve been there)…
Conversation sounds interesting.
But I… alone.

(Hey. They’ve asked me to join them…)


“Muskrat, muskrat, muskrat love…
And we whirled and we twirled
And we tangoed…”*
The words trip through my head still
Lightly, softly tumbling,
Mixed with memories
Dreamily drifting in and out,
Threads of laughter
Among the more pedantic
Thoughts that make up daily routine
Quiet. Warm brown tone,
Natural wood;
Cabin cozy, mellow.
Cold grey water; wind gusts
Sprays of salt crease the windows,
Whip small crests, tiny, frenzied.
Me? Warm, secure.
Velvet-soft cocoon.
Slowly lean back, lingering.
Warm arms gently encircle my shoulders
Body – hard – presses against my back.
How do I describe this feeling, this pressure?
Intense. Yet soft. Mellow.
Deliciously quiet.
Restrained power.
Measured beauty.

* from lyrics by Willis Alan Ramsey, c1971


Smells like life, living.
Grass, newly mown; dampness of
the living earth
Still clinging to each fallen blade,
Still softly full, pliable the scent,
the living greenness
Fills my senses. Reeling gently
Through the cells of memory,
Tumbling down tunnels,
For that feeling, that experience past
Where this green once before
assaulted my senses.
Ah! Here is something now!
I peer intently…
Find the details hazy, the smoky
glass of time
Obliterating the details of a reality,
An experience past.
Yet I can feel that moment
The passage of days and years
Incapable of destroying that
That warmth,
That dizzying, soft, delicious, painful,
tumbleweed feeling.
Two friends, in


This one I love.
(To him I say “I love you,” but maybe
I should say “You teach me love;”
For by him my love, my capacity for
Involving myself, for sensing those needs
Deep-felt but unspoken,
Expressed sometimes, dimly,
A startled reflection in the guarded mirrors
Of the mind;
A momentary crinkle, the fleeting edges
Of a smile
Escaping (almost) – but only a
Caught, retained in fear lest
The soul be exposed
And rejected).
I love this one.
This one who for a moment
(Unguarded, I know not why)
Drew back the thorns,
Let me touch (but touch is
Itself too strong a word) –
For one beautiful, terrifying,
Shimmering moment,
One flicker in the scope of
Eternity –
The softness, the living, breathing
Of the myriad petals, the complexity
Of the flower of his soul.
One brief moment.
But enough.
Enough to breathe, deeply.
My senses explode; the fragrance
Overflows, tumbling, rushing,
Cataract stumbling over itself
Laughing, tripping, arms flung wide,
Twirling round and round –
Joy –
Round and round and round
And round and
The thorn bristles. The
Invisible wall
Flung up to hide the
Of the fragile crystal, the drop
Of dew
Nestled at the heart of the
That tiny spark that lives,
And living… gives life.
In that moment, so brief,
I know love.
I want to reach out.
I love you.


I bristle.
Thorns out stretch,
Hiding the petals, the softness,
The easily shattered
Of my soul.
Your love, too strong.
I sense destruction
Of that private, inner world.
I can’t share it. I hold it
And your eyes (as brown eyes
Are wont to do)
Reflect the hurt, the
Rejected puzzlement,
The little boy, deserted.
I want to touch you.
To reach out.
Maybe this afternoon.
If I can get past those thorns.


“In the beginning was the Word,
And the Word was with God,
And the Word was God.” John 1:1 KVJ

“In the beginning.”
I read the words this morning.
(I read the other words too;
But my mind – or a still small voice –
Kept bringing me back, to the
In the beginning…
In the beginning
I loved him.
Yes, I certainly loved him
(still do,
If the gently painful swelling
Of heart and lungs
Each time I think of him,
Means anything).
I loved him
Enough to say forever,
Despite the warning under-currents,
The tiny momentary tugs,
The little whirlpools that
Seemed to drag
Small bits of my rational mind
Toward an unseen abyss.
But – in the beginning I loved him
(maybe just a response to his love,
Mine not really freely given?)
Enough to pull back on the oars,
To fight the warning eddies
(to ignore the realities my mind knew).
I loved him.
But was it really love?
Then why was there tangled
In it
So much jetsam and flotsam?
So much antithetical to
The kind of love
That suffers long, is kind,
Envies not,
Is not proud or foolish,
Gives not way to anger,
Rejoices not in evil, but
Opens wide its arms
To the warming, healing
Light of truth;
The kind of love that bears,
Believes, hopes,
Why the guilt,
The ruthless, painful,
Blinding guilt
That gave unnatural strength
To ignore the warning signs,
The incompatibilities
That stretched to my very soul,
That were the very antithesis
Of my faith,
My hopes,
My beliefs –
Of me.
The guilt –
It clung, such as a blood sucker
(or vampire?)
Might cling to its victim
Drawing off the life source,
Injecting its own hold, its own power,
And causing me (the victim, remember?)
To cling also,
Knowing all the time
I could lose my soul.
The guilt…
The guilt of lost innocence,
Tossed away in a moment
Of mind-emptied passion.
The guilt
Of a minute, unprotected, but very real
Life destroyed
(To preserve the mockery of
The trimmings of civilization,
No one need know.
But the guilt still gnaws within.
A feeling of terrible, desolate
Which can be filled with –
Not fun, parties, dancing,
Mind-altering chemicals,
Not sex. I know.
And the emptiness, the guilt
Echoes in the hollowness
Of my soul.)
For this I gave myself,
And now,
The split.
The inevitable split?
And so I must return
To the beginning.
I cannot fight it any longer.
I must admit the truth
(The ugly truth – But truth
Is light
And somewhere in this
Of black, heavy, muffled
There must shine that
Soul warming, cleansing,
So I must go back
In the beginning.
Where are you,
My God?
My soul longs for


“I will lift up my eyes
Unto the hills
From whence cometh
My help?”
And not only unto the hills
But also
Unto the sunshine, the
Warm, life-giving
Heart-lifting, body-twirling
And unto the waters;
That great, awesome, shattering
And unto the rich brown
Soil, moist, living
And the deep soft green
Of grass
And trees, and
All living things.
I will lift up mine eyes
Unto the power, the
Warm, brilliant, living sunlight
Of this vast and awesome creation,
Unto the Creator, the Mind
From which all this wonder
Exploded, blossomed,
The Person
From whence cometh…
My help.
The sun just burst through
The clouds.
Really. (Smile).
I go now, reach out my arms…
Embrace it?


This one is…
Just me.
Whirling, twirling, arms outflung;
Joy! –
Tossed to the winds,
Flung to the breeze
Tangling with sparkling,
Laughing rays of sunshine.
Bubbling, glistening,
Tripping lightly,
So happy. So…
WOW! (Throw my
Arms around me,
Big hug! So happy!)


Funny how they look at you
Kind of funny.
Trying so hard not to look curious
All the time wondering
Like crazy
What the heck’s going down
On that scrap of paper.
Makes ‘em really wonder
Specially when you keep
Looking at ‘em
(But obvious enough so they
– giggle – notice)


Empty feeling; hollow.
I enjoy you, old friend.
But the excitement
Of your presence,
The tingly, happy, laughing
That once permeated,
Over-brimmed my being –
I wonder –
Did it really exist?
There was so much hidden,
Held back –
Anticipation of mystery,
Of unknowns.
Knowing is not


Drifting, pensively probing.
Ephemeral, wavering, shimmering
Extend tentatively, shyly.
A few gossamer strands of
Slip with warm mossy silence
Through the mottled, pitted,
Glassy panes;
Hesitantly pass the dust-lined
Of an other rainfall.
My soul is touched.


It was gonna be so neat.
I could feel your hug,
See your laughing eyes.
Hear the special way you say,
It gave me a tight little
So neat.
So here I sit, still,
Halfway back to Van,
In the middle of nowhere.
(Port Hardy –
Not a bad terminal,
But a drink would be nice).
Oh well,
Maybe your truck never made it –
Maybe some other time, eh?


Swinging Surf –
You’ve got competition.
Buck-eighty a Canadian.
“Chieftan Lounge.”
They’ve almost got you.
Eavesdropping again.
“So if I never see you again…”
“Meeting a neat lady like you…”
Same old lines.
To Vancouver International.


Blank spaces
In books of poetry –
Not necessarily symptomatic
Of a blank mind.

(Quite the opposite,


“Breathlessness of nature.”
“Whim of the sea”
(That’s C:
Me, I’ve never been on the water
When wind was really happening).
The voice of the Creator;
Thunder of waves, crashing,
Booming, shouting
Drowning the whispering
The quiet murmuring of the
Small breeze,
Itself wind,
I wander the shores,

“My mother’s breath is
Strong as the winds.”

Direction give only by the
Eternally shifting
Moods (ethereal)
Of the wind.
Or a minute part, an
Infinitesimal moment
Of a greater, eternal



5:20 p.m.
Silent wharf.
Tiny breeze – I only feel
Its barely breathing voice.
Hardly wrinkles on the water.
(Like my skin where it met the
On a pensive, soothing
Evening. Dreamless.)
Rain drops (or are these
Tiny caresses of moisture
Simply the fleeting tears
Of a world already gone,
But memories lingering?)
Inlet blue-gray – yet warm,
Inviting me
To roll gently into its arms,
Wrapped softly,
Music of silence. Quiet rapture.
The breeze (I thought it so soft
So quiet)
Touches, ever so lightly, with
An icy, ephemeral finger.
Draws my mind back to this wharf,
This here and now.
Lets in the people sounds
They must have been there
All the time?


I’m a free
spirit with a
Lot of strings
Trying to be
I need a pair of

Where am I at?

Running on empty….

C. you dummy,
Deserting me on a
I took to the water
Just in time.


The water is black today.
Myriad tiny wrinkles
Like old skin
Or time-worn leather.
Even the waves are different
Today –
No pattern, directionless.
Across the inlet
Soft hazy outlines
(my mind labels them
But I wonder?)
Sky cotton-fuzzy grey
(irregular patches
palest blue).
The images all wrong
For spring, Easter.
But life is here –
Feelings of new beginning
Even the blackness of the
Lives (no specter of death
Maybe it’s the wind brings
This feeling,
Chilly but fresh – barest scent
Of green.
The sun breaks through
Joyously –
A million tiny sparkles,
Come and gone so rapidly
Perhaps I only
Imagined it?

“I was too young
To fall in love
And you were too
Young to know.”
(Also I thought nobody
Would want
Someone used.)
(And now too mixed up
To know the difference).


(You of the “no lines”
“no bullshit”
“ no games”
Your exit yesterday
Was to the point –
And totally graceless.
“Lover and friend to whom
I can bare my soul.”
You (the cynic –
For whatever reasons)
Have just witnessed the
Of cynicism
Congratulations, again!
I think you’ve just
Become the father
Of a monster
(Births warrant flowers.
How about red roses?
I’d be delighted).

By Norma J Hill

Date: spring 1980

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