Café Crem

Art, Music and Words around The Coffee Table

Love (1)

  I wrote the following poem some years ago and posted it anonymously on a friend’s blog. He still doesn’t know it was me, but he hoiked it out of the comments box and gave it a post of its own. What alarmed me at the time was the fact that he added a very graphic picture of a young woman who had self harmed by slashing at her arms; the poem was not meant to be about this issue at all but at a subconscious level my friend had picked up certain of my history that meant this was one of the ways he interpretted the poem. I was both impressed and horrified and I never owned up to him! 

In some ways it was intended to be more like John Donne or one of the other metaphysical poets who wrote about the way divine love shaped us, but it came out quite differently.

I feel rather naked about sharing the background to the poem; it somehow makes the whole thing rather more personal….

Love (1)


Love wounds us.

Like tribal scars,

Love marks us,

Shows us as new

Initiated beings.

Parallel slashes

Of raised scar tissue

Label us as different.

Love hurts us:

The brief bold cut

Dripping hot blood

Shows us changed,

Reinvented daily.

Only those who share

Our pattern of scarring

Can see and know

The person we have become,

Or see the beauty and power

Of those indelible wounds,

Invisible to those untouched

By Love’s kind blade.

by Viv


January 8, 2009 - Posted by | death, God in our life, health, life, love, personal, poetry, psychology, religion, Viv's Poetry, writing | , , , , , ,


  1. That’s a strong poem and I can really sense the emotional intensity. But I reckon that medicine can remove any scar, if you want it to…

    Comment by zombiebacon | January 8, 2009

  2. Zombiebacon: I think that’s plastic surgery, isn’t it? 🙂
    Viv: interestingly, that is how I interpret the poem , too!

    Comment by kevmoore | January 8, 2009

  3. It’s funny how when you write a poem it goes and becomes something else as if your words have only been the tip of an inner iceberg. That’s why poems are such a dangerous thing because you say more than you meant to and a sensitive reader can read the things you didn’t write.
    I was actually thinking at the time of life-saving surgery, of psychotherapy and of how being in love can change you. But the background was indeed of selfharm and how it had saved my life in many ways by finding an outlet for emotions when none other was to be had. I also think that sometimes only those who have shared your emotions in some way can tap into the unwritten lines and read them aloud.
    I thought plastic surgery was when you cut your credit card in half!!!
    Anyway, thank you both.

    Comment by viv66 | January 8, 2009

  4. Powerful poem with a fantastic crescendo towards the final words “Love’s Kind Blade”.
    What you say is a dangerous thing, with the sensitive reader being able to read the things you didn’t write is for me the power of poetry.
    I am not sure that it is really dangerous because I believe that the one who is able to read the unconscious or hidden message between the words, exactly he/she wouldn’t misuse it, exactly because he/she had suffered the same experience…

    By the way i didn’t think at all of self harm as I read your poem. I just thought of Love, and its blade…. I interpreted everything which might apply to self-harm here as metaphern for what Love can do to us…

    Comment by Miki | January 8, 2009

  5. I think I thought it was dangerous simply because it kind of “blows your cover” so to speak and makes you very open and vulnerable. If you have lived in fear of revealing the real You for many years because you fear rejection and revulsion when people discover the real You, then it’s utterly terrifying to think that you have let the real you show and not know it at the time. At the time I wrote this I was living in such a situation, hence feeling I had to post it anonymously in the first place, even though the friend was someone I had known for many years and had shared a difficult time with.

    Comment by viv66 | January 8, 2009

  6. I understand, Viv… sometimes circumstances of life force us to have a cover, and one should be careful not to blow it as long as the cover is necessary.
    Unfortunately I thunk that “a cover” in poetry or generally in writing (in art as well) does not work very well, in the sense that total intellectual and emotional honesty is -I think- a must when one wants to write something of real value.
    Luckily to use a cover doe not mean to be untrue, and there all these spaces between words and lines are big enough for the nakedness…
    I had a big inner fight when I started being active in the internet, above all blogging. It is scary how people can find us here in the internet, and I was scared that some people I know or knew read my words… But I have decided that I did not want to live in that jail of fears and covers, and to present me “naked” in the internet, to show my true nature, always.Simply because not to be able to live according my nature is for me the worst jail ever… and what I most need in life (after Kevin 🙂 ) is FREEDOM!
    Concerning poetry, I think that your cover works very well for you, because somehow it is the nature of poetry to have different layers….

    Comment by Miki | January 9, 2009

  7. I think that what you say is very true and I have been trying to live like that in the last few years….The trouble is that I have received a few attacks(from people I thought I could trust) that have made me retire and lick my wounds and worry that I am too open and too easy to hurt because of that openness. Stil, they are only a few people and my wounds were superficial.

    Comment by viv66 | January 9, 2009

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