Dark Valentine

On this chilly St Valentine’s morn,
Do not give me a rose without a thorn
Or even preservèd cherries bittersweet
Covered in sugar and chocolate.
Do not write a pretty verse inside a card,
Not one from Barrett-Browning nor the bard,
Or take me to a restaurant for dinner
When you know I ‘m trying to get thinner.
Give me your wildly beating heart,
Engorged with blood, salty and tart,
Pulsing and foaming like gushing wine,
And be my vampiric Valentine.

Kim M. Russell, 2017


Image found on Pinterest

My response to dVerse Poet Pub Poetics – Have a Heart!

Lillian is our host on this St. Valentine’s Day, about which she has shared some facts, one of which is especially interesting for me, as I live not far from Paston, which is just further along the Norfolk coast and is the name of our local sixth form college, where Admiral Lord Nelson once went to school. She tells us that the earliest surviving valentine in English appears in the Paston Letters, written in 1477, by Margery Brewes to her future husband John: “my right well-beloved Valentine.”

Lillian says that she still has an old poetry book of her mother’s, in which she kept scraps of paper – all little poems with her handwritten notes and the date on them, sent to her dad when he was in the service for WW II.  There’s also little poems sent to her by her best friend Franny. Those were the days when love letters were written in script and carried by the postal service…rather than tweeted, emailed or sent by FB message.

So, today she is asking us to Have a Heart and include the word ‘heart’ somewhere in our poems. 

52 thoughts on “Dark Valentine

  1. So utterly gothic as Ingrid said. I keep glancing at this line:

    “Do not give me a rose without a thorn”

    Something about it, it draws me in. And then how the narrator does not want possessions or restaurant dining, they want the love of their partner…

    Their partner’s blood. Swooning here, Kim. I feel the urge to donate blood at the blood banks. 🧛🏻‍♀️

    This also reminds me how Mary Shelley kept her husband’s heart with her after he died… or what she thought was his heart. Giving me those vibes here! A brilliantly written poem. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

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