Archives for posts with tag: Romance


Christmas on Hydra
by Sofia Kioroglou

Christmas on Hydra.
Fingers interlocked
squeezing tightly
I and you
looking at
the shimmering sea
kissing each other as
passersby are surreptitiously
stealing a look at our eternal bliss
swathed in mufflers
with breaths misting up
the crisp winter air.
I and you
into each other forever
during this holiday season.

PHOTO: The author on Hydra last Christmas.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Poet Sofia Kioroglou is a writer, translator, lexicographer, and painter born and bred in Athens, Greece. A lover of the countryside, she tried several times to escape from the soul-destroying dog-eat-dog atmosphere of this mundane urban life. Her first trip to Jerusalem in 2010 changed her whole perspective on life and gave a new dimension to her existence. Most of her poems are philosophical with religious overtones. At the moment, she is bound up in putting together her own poetry chapbook. Some of her poems have won commendations and honourable mentions in several reputable poetry competitions and are featured on various poetry websites. Visit her at, which features some of her English and Greek poems.

devil dogs
by Barbara Eknoian

     “Boredom: the desire for desire” Leo Tolstoy

I’m bored so I search in the cupboard
for a tasty treat, but there is none,
so I nibble on cheese and crackers,
but it doesn’t please me
as I really desire
that chocolate and cream, devil dog,
that I used to buy
at the grocery store every time
I ran an errand for my mom.
But now I know they’re not good
to eat because of trans fats,
but crackers won’t satisfy.
I want, I need that sweet, artificial
sugar taste.
Or maybe, it’s really a need to kiss
my husband on his sweet lips
like we did when we first met.

SOURCE: Previously published in Cadence Collective.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Barbara Eknoian‘s work has appeared in Chiron Review, Pearl, Newverse News, Cadence Collective anthologies, Your Daily Poem, and Silver Birch Presses anthologies: Silver, Green, Summer, and Self-Portrait Collection. She has participated in Donna Hilbert’s poetry workshop since it began. Her children and grandchildren live with her in La Mirada because there is always room at her table.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION:  Kidding around with my husband  during the summer of 1974 at the Palisades Park town pool in New Jersey.


Ten Days in Paris
by Susan Mahan

I fell in love with a frenchman.

We dined in a bistro
…at separate tables.
Pink lighting glowed softly
on white linen,
and I savored him between morsels
of warm goat cheese.
He was handsome and cordial,
soft-spoken and kind.
He sat with a woman,
but I was sure
they were business associates;
he did not tutoie*her.

His gaze held hers
as they talked of their jobs,
their interests,
their families.
His eyes were expressive
and the color of the Seine on a cloudy day.
His eyebrows moved in concert
with her every remark.

I wanted his rapt attention
and longed to bring him back to my flat.

© Susan Mahan, June 2000

*the verb tutoyer means to address familiarly (tu)

PHOTOGRAPH: “Sidewalk Cafe, Boulevard Diderot, Paris” by Henri Cartier-Bresson (1969).

outside d'orsay

My husband died in 1997. I had been married 26 years and had never really been alone in all that time. Two years after he died, I decided to travel alone to Paris. I thought I needed to prove somethingto myself. I brought a journal along to write my impressions of the trip. “Ten Days in Paris”was one of the poems that emerged. When I think of the initial fear I had on that trip — not being ableto read maps that well, only knowing a little French, being entirely alone in a foreign country,how can I submit a poem on “My Perfect Vacation,”you may be asking? It turned out that my time spent in Paris gave me great confidence in myself. I’ve traveled back two more timesby myself since the first trip.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Susan Mahan has been writing poetry since her husband died in 1997. She is a frequent reader at poetry venues and has written four chapbooks. She served as an editor of The South Boston Literary Gazette from 2002-2012. She has been published in a number of journals and anthologies, including Silver Birch Press.

AUTHOR PHOTO: Susan Mahan outside The Musée d’Orsay, Paris.

Red Silk Heart
by Ruth Bavetta

Chocolates in a heart-shaped box.
She’s thirteen. What does she do
with a such a box of sweets?
Does she clutch it to her breast?
What does she do with the giver
after she says thank you?
Does she offer him a taste?
She has no map.

Red rosebuds sent to the house.
Should she wear them to the party?
The card isn’t signed, only
a drawing of a skeleton.
She is a gypsy, she wears the roses
and a mask.
No one else has roses.

Who sent them?
She tells everyone she doesn’t know.
The skeleton watches her
from across the room.
If she looks at him
she will fall off the edge
of the world.

PHOTOGRAPH: “Chocolate Box” by Bill Brennan. Prints available from

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: True story. What can this guy have been thinking? He was only 13, too. I’ll bet his mother put him up to it. I was totally embarrassed.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ruth Bavetta’s poems have been published in Rhino, Rattle, Nimrod, Tar River Poetry, North American Review, Spillway, Hanging Loose, Poetry East, and Poetry New Zealand, among many others, and are included in four anthologies. She has published two books, Embers on the Stairs (FutureCycle Press) and Fugitive Pigment (Moon Tide Press). A third book, No Longer at this Address (Tebot Bach) will appear soon.

by D.A. Pratt

If you listen to a certain song
by Simon and Garfunkel
you will hear several
of the months mentioned,
one after another, as the song
tells a story I know only too well:
it begins by saying in April come she will
and indeed she did, ever so refreshingly,
in a month when so much is promised
in so many ways . . . in May
everything blossomed beautifully
and she seemed ready to stay
in my arms far longer than I
could have ever dared to dream —
ah, that was the good part of our story
but, by listening to the song, you’ll know
what follows, that the good part
cannot possibly last and it didn’t for us,
like the song says, if I can put it this way . . .
I hope every remembered romance
has what we managed to have
in that memorable month of May —
but not the June, nor the July
and definitely not the August . . . I hope
for something better for everyone else . . .
As for me, I know I will linger over
those moments in May . . . when our love
was going so well and it seemed that it
wouldn’t ever end, even though, somehow,
we knew it had to die, as the song says it must . . .
Someday, in my never-ending September,
I’ll remember having a love once new,
having known her, having loved her,
even if only so fleetingly, in a magical month
we like to call May . . .

PAINTING: “The Kiss” (1909) by Gustav Klimt (1862-1918).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: D.A. (David) Pratt lives in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. This “May” poem is inspired by a song by Simon and Garfunkel, his all-time favourite musicians. In 2013, his short prose piece “Encountering Bukowski—Some Canadian Notes” appeared in Bukowski: An Anthology of Poetry & Prose About Charles Bukowski published by Silver Birch Press and his essay entitled “The Five Henry Millers” appeared in the tenth annual issue of Nexus: The International Henry Miller Journal.

NOTES FROM THE AUTHOR: In responding to the call for poems mentioning the month of May, I immediately thought of the song “April Come She Will” by Simon and Garfunkel, knowing that it mentions May . . . I hope the resulting poem honours the song while being, at the same time, an original creation about an imagined romance with one of my imagined muses . . .

by Thom Amundsen

A melancholy ordinary day
while traveling along a dusty way,
I thought of the month of May
how sweet to see your eyes today.
That’s when the flowers begin
a sojourn outward from within.
In May our hearts long to pin
us down with sweet romancin’
Remember those distant afternoons
we’d linger passing minutes in swoon
I might now in May recall a tune
making love underneath the moon
I would believe in you in May.
A saucy time when hips would sway,
dances while your eyes made me stay
in your arms – please don’t go away.
Let you hold me in your arms tonight
I want to comfort you too if I might
we can win the war of evil tonight —
May flowers bloom in morning sunlight
Spring is in the air, it’s May everywhere
so don’t despair, soft wispy eyes so fair.

IMAGE: “May Blossom” by Priska Wettstein. Prints available at


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Thomas Amundsen has been writing poetry nearly all his life, but recently attacked it with a feverish urgency, enjoying dabbling in many different variations of verse. He is a family man, teacher, director of theater, and an uncertain poet. Visit him at

by Thomas Moore

The young May moon is beaming, love.
The glowworm’s lamp is gleaming, love.
How sweet to rove
Through Morna’s grove,
When the drowsy world is dreaming, love!
Then awake! The heavens look bright, my dear.
‘Tis never too late for delight, my dear.
And the best of all ways
To lengthen our days
Is to steal a few hours from the night, my dear.

IMAGE: “Falling for You” by Jerry McElroy. Prints available at


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Born in Dublin, Ireland, Thomas Moore (1779–1852) was a poet, singer, songwriter, and entertainer, best remembered for the lyrics of “The Minstrel Boy” and “The Last Rose of Summer.” He is the author of a biography of Lord Byron (1830), Irish Melodies (1808-1834), and Lalla Rookh (1817). In 1793, at age 14,  he contributed the first of his verses to a Dublin periodical, the Anthologia Hibernica. In June 1794, Moore became one of the first Catholics admitted to Trinity College, Dublin. His last work was the massive History of Ireland (1835-1846).

by W.D. Snodgrass

Outside, the last kids holler
Near the pool: they’ll stay the night.
Pick up the towels; fold your collar
Out of sight.

Check: is the second bed
Unrumpled, as agreed?
Landlords have to think ahead
In case of need,

Too. Keep things straight: don’t take
The matches, the wrong keyrings–
We’ve nowhere we could keep a keepsake–
Ashtrays, combs, things

That sooner or later others
Would accidentally find.
Check: take nothing of one another’s
And leave behind

Your license number only,
Which they won’t care to trace;
We’ve paid. Still, should such things get lonely,
Leave in their vase

An aspirin to preserve
Our lilacs, the wayside flowers
We’ve gathered and must leave to serve
A few more hours;

That’s all. We can’t tell when
We’ll come back, can’t press claims,
We would no doubt have other rooms then,
Or other names.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: William DeWitt Snodgrass (1926-2009) won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1960. He is considered a leading figure — along with Sylvia Plath, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Lowell, and Anne Sexton — in the confessional school of poetry.

PAINTING: “Spring Romance” by Kathy Nesseth. Prints available at

by Amy Lowell

Little cramped words scrawling all over the paper
Like draggled fly’s legs,
What can you tell of the flaring moon
Through the oak leaves?
Or of my uncertain window and thebare floor
Spattered with moonlight?
Your silly quirks and twists have nothing in them
Of blossoming hawthorns,
And this paper is dull, crisp, smooth, virgin of loveliness
Beneath my hand.

I am tired, Beloved, of chafing my heart against
The want of you;
Of squeezing it into little inkdrops,
And posting it.
And I scald alone, here, under the fire
Of the great moon. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Amy Lowell (1874-1925) was an American poet of the imagist school from Brookline, Massachusetts, who posthumously won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1926.


Congratulations to Marcia Meara — whose poetry has appeared in three Silver Birch Press anthologies — on the recent release of her romantic suspense novel Wake-Robin Ridge, available in paperback and Kindle versions at Marcia is an inspiration — and we’re looking forward to reading her novel over the holidays.

BOOK DESCRIPTION:  On a bitter cold January night in 1965, death came calling at an isolated little cabin on Wake-Robin Ridge. Now, nearly 50 years later, librarian Sarah Gray has quit her job and moved into the same cabin, hoping the peace and quiet of her woodland retreat will allow her to concentrate on writing her first novel. Instead she finds herself distracted by her only neighbor, the enigmatic and reclusive MacKenzie Cole, who lives on top of the mountain with his Irish wolfhound as his sole companion. 

As their tentative friendship grows, Sarah learns the truth about the heartbreaking secret causing Mac to hide from the world. But before the two can sort out their feelings for each other, they find themselves plunged into a night of terror neither could have anticipated. Now they must unravel the horrifying events of a murder committed decades earlier. In doing so, they discover that the only thing stronger than a hatred that will not die is a heart willing to sacrifice everything for another. 

A story of evil trumped by the power of love and redemption, Wake-Robin Ridge will transport you to the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and introduce you to characters you won’t soon forget.

…Find Wake-Robin Ridge at


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Marcia Meara is a native Floridian, living in the Orlando area with her husband of twenty-seven years, two silly little dachshunds and four big, lazy cats. She’s fond of reading, gardening, hiking, canoeing, painting, and writing, not necessarily in that order. But her favorite thing in the world is spending time with her two grandchildren, eight-year-old Tabitha Faye, and seven-month-old Kaelen Lake. Marcia is the author of Wake-Robin Ridge, a romantic suspense novel set in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, and Summer Magic: Poems of Life and Love. She is currently working on her second novel, Swamp Ghosts, set alongside the wild and scenic rivers of central Florida. Her philosophy? It’s never too late to follow your dream. Just take that first step, and never look back.

Book cover by Nicki Forde at