I was never one for painting my lips red,
although I sometimes fantasised in bed
about a scarlet slash against white teeth
tempting you to meld our lips and breath,
a colourful seduction in a bed gone quiet.

But then I realised that instead of a riot
of thrashing limbs and pounding chests
we both preferred the gentleness
of quiet cuddles, a perfect fit
of naturally naked skin and lips.

Kim M. Russell, 31st March 2020

Image result for free images  woman with red lips
Free image found on

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Poetics: Seeing Red! , also linked to Poets and Storytellers United Writers’ Pantry

Sarah is our host this Tuesday and she wants us to celebrate the colour red, reminding us of its power and what it means, such as blood, fire, passion. Fruit, danger, among other things.

Sarah has shared two ‘red’ poems to start us off, ‘Red’ by Ted Hughes and ‘The Red Wheelbarrow’ by William Carlos Williams.

Today we are bringing a little red into our poems: the colour itself, bringing it to life with metaphor and imagery, or just a little dot of it, as Turner did when he added a red buoy to a seascape, just to give extra life and excitement.

86 thoughts on “Lips

  1. Oh, that ending is so simple and so perfect. I fantasise about the perfect red lipstick, but I’d never remember to put it on!

    The move from passion to cuddling in contentment is very deftly done. I think we all need some cuddling at the moment.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. In the 50’s I hated lipstick, it smeared on everything. The 60-‘s natural look was a welcome respite. Hopefully there is room in our love lives for the passionate thrash at times; it’s good cardiac.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. i love how you painted the soft contrast between the crazy and the calm love. particularly, i do prefer this also:
    we both preferred the gentleness
    of quiet cuddles, a perfect fit
    of naturally naked skin and lips.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So so late to the reading and posting for this one. I do love your take on this, Kim. And I so agree…..the gentleness of love is much better suited to the natural lips 🙂 That “slash of red” is just a great descriptive phrase. And you’re right … I’ve always thought you needed to have perfectly white teeth to carry off red red lipstick. Young folks who have all had braces with beautifully straight teeth and treated with whitener….or the old Hollywood greats who all had their teeth capped I suspect. Us old folks….the red red just doesn’t cut it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t worn lipstick for weeks, Lill, and have forgotten what I look like when I get dressed up. It doesn’t bother my husband, though. I think he prefers me au naturel. 😊


  5. My heart became a torrent of yes after I read the last stanza. I love the softness, and (relatable) reality those last few lines share. I think many of us fantasizes about explosive scarlet, but few things feed a heart like the quiet flesh tones we know.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My rhyming brain simply won’t shut off at times. I read your charming poem, and the words immediately came to me “Red lips and sailing ships, and tales I need to tell” I know there’s going to be a poem in there somewhere, thanks to you!

    Liked by 1 person

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