Buy Heart Sings - a collection of love poems by Jon Atack.

index of first lines
:: there is always and only you ::
:: longing is as longing be ::
:: my tick, your tock ::
:: I scratch these lines ::
:: you’re the best news ::
:: damned, our helpless raft ::
:: when she has bleached ::
:: I love you to bafflement ::
:: overweening intensity ::
:: I’ll swim a river of reasons ::
:: released from the bow ::
:: as if love ::
:: this fragrant cadence ::
:: I’ll be the book ::
:: I cannot sleep for want of you ::
:: a cloud shadow ::
:: I wash with water ::
:: I had often heard of love ::

there is always and only you
no one else could ever do
you’re not like the rest
you’re my favourite,
you’re —
well, you’ve guessed

26 May 2004, midnight

longing is as longing be
the you I long for
longs for me

longing is as longing do
at the window a light
the whole night through

a light at the window
no latch on the door
the sleepless night
the daily war

longing is as longing can
I'll long for you
as long as I am

longing be as longing is
we join this circle
with a kiss

27 March2004, 3.05 am

ants in the house

my tick, your tock
the pendulum swings
our hearts' clock

deadened by lines
ground by chores
undeserved fines
unpayable scores

the world tasks
our separation
incompetent, we organize
our own frustration

a parade of ants
invades the clock
the dumb heart beats
tick, tock

27 March2004, 3 am

I scratch these lines
hope you will always be mine
sweet valentine

years at sea
before arriving
at your isle of serendipity

12 February 2004 , 3.30am

you’re the best news
the ruse that usually
routs the blues
you're my favourite view
the love I won’t eschew
the glue that keeps
my poor heart new

30 January 2004 , 2.16 am

damned, our helpless raft
skimmed the weir
at the edge of the world
every frustration raging
love churning
passion only driving us apart
somehow, we clung together
knew that beyond our love
was only blackness

a hundred storms exhausted us
hope scorched then dampened by the waves
the dismal poetry of failure

blessed, unsteady on the shore
I can only embrace this miracle
my heart exults
you are everything
that I could ever dream

30 January 2004 , 12.30 am

when she has bleached
and starched the world
what a time we’ll have!

10 August 2000

I love you to bafflement
I love you to bits
I love your every corner
I’ll love you till I fit

12 July 2000, 4.45 pm

overweening intensity
ferocious ardour
blind risk
and childish passion
I spin
and dizzied crumple
my elations spiral high
I cry at children’s plight,
sob songs, laments and dirges
and the furious waste
we call history

I nurse death
dangle my mind
in lucid misery
rise to meet the shine
love you like the ocean
loves the sea

7 July 2000, 5 pm

I’ll swim a river of reasons
chop down a forest of logic
pull the moon from the heart’s sky
and you are mine

no more caution
we race
with dewy feet
innocent as Spring
and every yellow
around us as we spin
this dizziness of love

our skin creased
perhaps abstractedly powdered
for the lens
our hands twined
the world sees
the radiance
of so many tender years

my hands sift through
the reeds
embrace your water form
lithe nymph
of sensuality
eyes engaged
a dizziness more marvellous
than any chemical
fingers melt
into this liquid love
and there is no longer
you and me
no longer
life and death
only illumined mortality

I’ll swim a river of reasons
chop down a forest of logic
pull the moon from the heart’s sky
and I am yours

8 March2000

released from the bow
I fly singing dizzied
I knew nothing
before the string threw me
at the sky
know nothing beyond the mark
yet I fly singing dizzied
unwilling to ignore a moment
of this ecstasy

16 November 1999, 12.20 am

as if love
could crack and rupture
the ice floe
excite the grand debacle

a few bergs
break from the edge
the mind plummets
with shock at their immensity
only tiny slivers of the floe

I turn my back
and whisper honey
to lure brief peace
as if these drops
of sweet delusion
could erode
an ocean of ice

hope perished at
the edge of the permafrost
there was no more nourishment
no place for tundra to root
each mile measures
another century of grief
another century of longing

my back turned
I dreamed sunshine
and solid ground
and my warbling
sweetened the chill

we resign ourselves
learn to live
with disability
even the disability
of reality seen and held
out there
in black and blue
upon the ice

how much salt
in how many tears
will turn to ocean
this Arctic?

but so
wandering lonely
across the aching ice
my heart sings
with the white beauty
of love

9 June 1999, 1.40 am

this fragrant cadence
fingertip dance
glistering mischief
impish piety
satiety in riot
soft plush
cushioned moist
savoured salt
delerium tremulous
exquisite tenderness
these eyes
green as Summer leaves
I dive deep
in the tingling river
of your sweetness

7 April 1999, 12 noon

I’ll be the book
from travelling in your bag
I’ll be the aspirin you take
when you flag

let me be your lipstick
let me be your rouge
roll me on, paint me on
give me an excuse

I’ll be the dogeared book
that travels in your bag
I’ll be the apirin
that lifts you when you flag

5 April 1999, 9.55 am

I cannot sleep for want of you
these silly words will have to do
eight syllables set in a string
followed by seven in a silly ring
seven give way to nine and then
another flock escapes the pen
spurred by want
I cannot drowse
my metric feet just sap and frowse
I lear at sense
carol my words
take the air with sightless birds
I cannot sleep for want of you
these silly words will never do

1 April 1999, 2.22 am

a cloud shadow
crosses expectation
human constancy is short
human delusion without end
eloquently pretending forever
before reaping love’s first and single harvest

never too old
to throw all dignity down
in love’s blind fervour
love’s dizzied flush
never beyond the demand
for submission in those
all satisfying waters
where blissful lethargy
washes away obligation
we please our selves
to please our selves
hammer closed all reason
to be clowns of love

on dim days
the sky brims with clouds
herds of shadows
graze on human constancy
some few live out fulfilling heartfelt expectation
and all is delusion
so be it happily so
if we must pretend
in order to believe
and believe in order to breathe
then let us see that every year
renews the harvest
through constant planting
constant tending
we reap love continually
by grateful husbandry

if age be fool
then are all fools
perhaps love’s blindness
is the only vision
sees the tender heart of life
the consuming motivation
which gives the stars to shine
and submission
which the mystics advertise
as the only route beyond
the silly selfish self
Lethe’s waters wash away all care
but not consideration
the true lover loves the world
is emptied through the self
loves life in all its living
and senses love
the fabric of all things
reason closes only
when the heart is dead
the fool of love
looks down from heaven’s throne

30 March1999, 12.52 am


I wash with water
wear no scent
cannot iron
or pay the rent
have more friends
than I can count
have nothing
in my bank account

12 February 1999, 2 pm

I had often heard of love
held close the dream
despite the obscenity of life
lived these forty foolish years
clutching love’s dear ragged image
at my cloistered heart

there were occasions
the heart fluttered
never to soar

until now

I would not escape
this tender captivity
the slender yes
of your head to toe

travelling this passionate landscape
of curve and caress
time falls aside
every care is mended
and my mind abides
most preciously in you

I had heard of love
every lip spoke its
fever and its plague
my heart many times
tested the breeze
but never flew

’til now

12 February 1999, 10.45 am