Brian Johnston

Gold Star - 14,380 Points (Jan.20,1943 / Oklahoma)

Ph: Love: My Love For You Has Its Limits - Poem by Brian Johnston

A soul is never mine to keep
Though it might be my own
For sure not mine to give away
As if it were a stone.

And soul belonging to one bound
By love (to me a slave)
Is not my slave but family,
In God's strength I am brave!

So do not think that I own yours
Or want to give you mine
For what we share is so much more
Than paper valentine.

Our souls are what bind us to God
A hallmark of creation
A reservoir for us to fill
Not parks and recreation.

My love is only human love
Unless it's in His service
Which brings me back to love of self
Whenever I get nervous

How can I say I love the Lord
If I don't love myself
Or claim to serve His Holy Name
While passive on a shelf

But help me Lord to love Your Voice,
And ways that aren't my own
And in denying mortal flesh
Stand tall before Your Throne.

Topic(s) of this poem: faith, love

Form: Syllabic Verse


Poet's Notes about The Poem

Brian Johnston
January 17,2016

Comments about Ph: Love: My Love For You Has Its Limits by Brian Johnston

  • Abekah Emmanuel (1/19/2016 9:34:00 AM)


    I was patrolling Brian's latest poems when this particular title grabbed my attention. Indeed I like poems that deal with the subject of love because there is always something new to be learnt about it.

    So I paused and wondered, 'who is this lady that Brian has crushed on that he is surrendering his heart to'? while at the same time informing the lady of a limit to his love for her. well...

    After reading the whole quatrain, characterized by old British style with flowing rhymes, I realized that Brian seems to be dealing with a rather philosophical matter and not mere romantic love. (I also checked his age later. ha!)

    upon reflection, I noted that Brian acknowledges the existence of the soul as .... what bind us to God and
    A hallmark of creation, he added. (4th stanza)

    Indeed, in the opening of the poem, he says that though he has a soul, it doesn't belong to him entirely. Thus, he can't give it away to his love as if it was any ordinary material. He put it,

    A soul is never mine to keep
    Though it might be my own
    For sure not mine to give away
    As if it were a stone.

    In the second stanza, Brian believes that, souls that are bound together by love and have therefore become a slave, is not a slave to him at all, but rather a family of which he needs God's strength to take care of. This stanza I believe, represents Brian's respect for womanhood and a rejection of men as superior heads in marriage. It also symbolizes his respect for equitable distribution of power in marriage.

    Having built thees premises, he now issues a disclaimer informing his love that her soul doesn't belong to him(Brian) , neither is he willing to give his to her.(How interesting..ha! Selfish Brian..jokes) This is because their love goes beyond mere expression of feelings on paper, or perhaps beyond writing poems to each other.

    At this point in the 5th stanza, I burst into laughter... when Brian claims he only has a human love. ha! well, I just want to know if humans can offer any kind of love aside the one we possess as humans?
    He clarifies this by citing his love for God and the love he has for himself.
    He puts it better,

    My love is only human love
    Unless it's in His service
    Which brings me back to love of self
    Whenever I get nervous

    The 6th and 7th stanza are very refreshing and diverts the reader's mind from a man who has fallen in love with a woman to a man who yearns for God's strength and Grace to worship Him in truth and in Spirit. Brian's tells God to help him deny mortal flesh(bodily temptations) in order to stand upright before His throne.


    Great poem, inspiring and thought provoking. We must avoid claiming dominion over the soul and heart of those we love. Great work...keep it up sir!
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Poem Submitted: Sunday, January 17, 2016

Poem Edited: Sunday, January 17, 2016


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