Valentine’s Day: a love poem by my friend Kathleen Kummer. She lived and worked in the Netherlands when married to a Dutchman. Poems from her debut collection Living below sea level featured here on 25 June 2018. To celebrate our 20-year friendship, I will be posting more of Kathleen’s unpublished work over the next few months.
Like a holy relic rarely exposed, they lie in a drawer, not handled, let alone read, for half a century, their violet ink on airmail paper, your, my, dried blood on a membrane which is beginning to flake. If touched, it would instantly turn to dust. If read, the dried blood would flow again and burn.
The drawer is hard to close: coarse strands of pain, regret and grief obstruct it. I am able to ease it with the memory of lying with you by the sea, unseen by those who walked through the marram grass, throwing up little showers of sand on us. Nothing has been as soft, as caressing as the sand dunes that summer.
the editor wrote, this is a list.
and I thought, he must be right,
he is an editor. But then I
thought there are list poems…
from afar, in love with his car,
or his wife, depressed about life,
attached to his money,
or his mother,
or some other pre-occupation,
watches trains from a station,
football high on his list,
never been kissed,
recently converted to church,
leaves you there in a lurch,
any man called Mike.
But I just had some great news: my poem Quantum has been Commended in the 2017 Barnet Open Poetry Competition and will be published in their anthology.