Half-Turned Pages A Love Poem Poem by Daniel Brick

Half-Turned Pages A Love Poem

Rating: 5.0

That autumn every time I looked
out the window I saw two leaves fall
from a maple tree in my yard.
Always two leaves fell together
as if nature were impatient
to strip the tree bare. Leaves
were falling rapidly all through
the city. I know, I counted them
as they fell, where they lay clustered on lawns and sidewalks.

At a harvest party,
the friends who introduced us
did not expect much,
just another blind date,
nothing more, but the half-
smile on her face
matched mine. We
shared immediate
expectations. Later
that night, around Lake Harriet,

we walked hand-in-hand beneath
the half-turned pages of the
moon, and read
each other's thoughts. Later
still, we sat in my car
talking about anything. Suddenly,
her eyes brightened, her face glowed.
Something else had occurred,
like the sudden descent of light
into a garden of shadows.

I thought, Does she want me
to kiss her? It was my last
thought. I leaned forward
as she did, our mouths met
and our lips shaped a kiss,
and another, and another.
And we entered the region of
As If: as if we had known
each other for ages, as if we were
thoroughly meshed, as if

this is how we wanted to be.
In that moment,
everything made perfect sense,
everything was spontaneous.
Gradually, our lips parted,
revealing two smiles. I hugged
her tighter before letting go. And
it was as if moonlight
poured into the car,
and covered us in its perfect glow.

In the meantime,
the season had changed, autumn
was now early winter. Raw winds
shredded brown leaves, leaving
rows of bare branches. We saw
the naked trees bow to that wind
as if they worshipped an unseen god.
It was a time that made us
think of intimacy, Yes,
intimacy was sorely needed.

She said in a mock-serious
voice, 'We shouldn't meet
like the others at ordinary times.
We must be original,
getting together at odd times.'
I agreed. 'OK. We'll make
seven am glitter, rush into ecstasy
at two am, kiss good-night at four am.'
She laughed in her special way,
then brought out a calendar and a pen.

One afternoon, she was so
sleepy because of our
odd hours, she napped
in a chair while I fixed
our dinner. When I gently
awakened her, she stirred but
stayed asleep. She looked so lovely
I waited with an easy patience,
drank her beauty like golden wine,
and longed for a deeper draft.

I rested my hand on her shoulder,
and gently caressed her flesh,
as I stirred her again. I waited
for a smile to appear. It did.
'There are gifts everywhere for us.'
She told me she had heard it
in her dream, and it charmed us.
For days, it echoed in our minds,
a reminder to count our blessings.
Then, she yawned to dispel sleep.

Days she was sad, she didn't want
my touch. She jerked her shoulder
free. I quickly stepped back.
When I touched her arm
she walked away. I could
not read her thoughts.
I left her alone for an hour.
Then, I slowly, insistently
came to her side. I said,
softly, into her ear,

'There is always a trace
of moonlight in our eyes
when we meet. It's what
makes us so fascinating.'
Her smile covered
her entire face. She
took my hand and lifted
it to her lips. 'I'm sorry.
It's just my mood today.
I won't steal your happiness.'

A few nights later, she
seemed carefree. I read out loud
'The Vigil of Venus', so that
she could hear the refrain,
'Tomorrow let the loveless
find his lover. Let her
who loved once, love again.'
It was a sweet story,
in which ancient lovers grasp
fleeting joys. But her eyes

darkened. She did not respond
to the Love Poem, but turned
away from it. I could not read
her thoughts, so I gave her
the silence that she wanted.
Was the Book really closing?
Then came the night
I learned what was stalking us.
We sat side by side
in a crowded Vietnamese

restaurant. It was as private
a space as the world could offer.
A darkness that was not
nature's fell across the table.
She revealed why we dated
on Sunday or Tuesday,
and kept apart on weekends.
'Another man? How long? ' I
could see her pain.
'Over two years? ' She nodded slowly.

She was stuck between
two men, each one
laying claim to her heart.
The world offered no help.
Mornings still rushed
into afternoons, afternoons
dissolved into evenings, nights
summoned everything to sleep.
Nothing had changed because
three were tangled with love.

I believed in another
life running parallel
to the world's. It is written
in the Book of Moonlight.
I shut that Book
completely... I withdrew.
Through her tears, she said,
'Thank you', and leaned her
lovely head against my shoulder.
It was the last time we touched.

I tried to think of her
as happy in the following days.
Did happiness topple
into place like the latest
in a series of events. There
was no way to know.
But when I said, 'Good-bye',
I was also saying, 'I love you.'
They were meshed together.
She only heard me say, 'Good-bye'.

When I look now into the
night sky, and watch
the moon's orb, it is
a closed book. No thoughts
hover in the air before me.
I breathe that empty air,
and see just the moon's
perfect white glow
lighting the surrounding
space for all to see.

Nika Mcguin 09 May 2014

This is a splendid poem, and there are so many details in it that I love. The first verse is amazing. I love the way you used the leaves falling from the tree to represent people falling in love, and falling fast! I love the last line of the first verse as well, very clever lol. I like that in the second verse the friends that set them up expect nothing, but the couple themselves share equal expectation. That sort of expression in itself is a beautiful moment in the poem. Then in the sixth verse the tree symbolism reappears, in a way i've never seen it used before. It's one of my favorite things about this poem! I also love the female character here despite her infidelity she just has so much charm and quirkiness - even readers are drawn to her. I love the lines about the crowded vietnamese restaurant being the most private place the world could offer. Its odd but true, sometimes the most privacy is found in places packed with people. I also like that the speaker's saying goodbye is also his way of showing love, whether the female character gets that or not. Reading the last verse I realized there is a sort of symbolism with the moon aka book of the night. I could be getting this wrong but it seems as if the page is half turned as soon as they meet and fall for one another. I take it to mean that their relationship was brief, nearly over before its start. The moonlight in their eyes is also short-lived, by the end of the next verse(after it's mentioned) her eyes have darkened. This seems to represent the book closing. This is all a very captivating metaphor for the relationship of two star-crossed lovers. This poem tells an amazing and exciting tale. I thoroughly enjoyed this one, so I've decided to add it to my poem list: 3 ~Nika

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Colleen Courtney 06 May 2014

Wow! What a wonderful story this piece tells! Was riveted from the very first line! Simply a truly beautiful write. Kudos to you! ! !

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Susan Lacovara 06 May 2014

Elegant and at first euphoric, only to fall, like the wanning moonlight...What a drenching of playfulness you have exhibited in your pure poem I will save it...and savor it, much like the love you once knew. Beautifully done. PEACE

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Valsa George 20 October 2014

This is again an engrossing write. The opening stanza is so symbolic... two leaves falling from the maple tree suggesting two lovers falling head over heels in love, but a love which is short lived as that of the fallen leaves which would soon wither away. The way you have developed this story is so absorbing and has all the ingredients to capture the unswerving attention of the readers. The development of the story from a casual meeting to an intense romance has a very realistic touch. Her occasional mood swing is well explained through her final confession that she is torn between the love of two men! The inevitable parting comes at the end! I love the way you have ended the poem.... 'the moon's orb a closed book' as against the 'half turned pages of the moon' at the beginning! No thoughts hover in the air'. Beautiful! !

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Glen Kappy 17 September 2017

daniel, i had a feeling about where this was heading, but i read on. phooey! this poem encapsulates the term bittersweet as a description of life. you have the lovely moments and then... i'd be surprised if this didn't prompt the what-ifs... perhaps the worst thing is for one to have lived and not felt. -glen

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Simone Inez Harriman 16 June 2017

A beautiful write and very emotional poem of a love triangle that brings an inevitable crushing hurt by all involved at the end of the day. This brought tears to my eyes. A perfect ten and into my favorites :)

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Daniel Brick 17 June 2017

When I told a male friend I was going to write a really long complicated love poem, hr immediately cautioned me about sentimentality. As if it was an inevitable problem. Can't you draft a poem of sentiment without feat of sentimentality? Would a woman poet just assume a love poem has to be so protected? THIS BROUGHT TEARS TO MY EYES. It does for me too, so I don't re-read it often. But I am proud of it and also proud I wrote it. I think instead of being afraid a love poem is potentially sentimental, I think we should consider a love poem, an exercise of the Heart Chakra: Does it open wide to take in the world? Or is it shut tight? No entrance unless you're sentment-free!

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Galina Italyanskaya 08 April 2016

It's a touching story, Daniel. People are strange creatures. They have to learn what they really need and spend so much time to do it. And for some of them it's never to be done.

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Bharati Nayak 01 April 2016

A half turned page, now a closed book, the empty air - - - - - - - A triangular love so beautifully portrayed through such imageries.

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Liza Sudina 14 March 2016

Your vision is always as from the side. you are like just seeing, very calm. It makes it all less emotional. I love your wisdom!

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