Excerpt for A Few Love Poems and Other Short Stories by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

a few love poems

and other short stories

Collected poems: 1990-2017


Copyright © 2018 John Saul

ISBN: 978-1-62429-155-5

All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the author except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

Published through Opus Self-Publishing Services

Located at:

Politics and Prose Bookstore

5015 Connecticut Ave. NW

Washington, DC 20008 / / (202) 364-1919

other books by John Saul

Candle In The Window, 2011

A Living House, 2013

Play the Music, 2015

“Love is everywhere. Often it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy but it’s there. Fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends.

When the planes hit the twin towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people onboard were messages of hate or revenge. They were all messages of love.

If you look at it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually, is, all around.”

-Love Actually, the movie

Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired

-Robert Frost

Words are the most powerful force on this planet. They've been known to start wars and make people fall in love. They can give hurting humans hope and breathe life into dead dreams.

Alex Lewis

Founder Car Window Poetry


Be yourself because you’re special

Inside your heart you have no fear

Don’t be afraid

Just dream

Are you afraid to dream big

Dream Big

-Students from Mrs. Willis' 4th Grade class at Odyssey Elementary School

In Memory

James Paul Giovannoni

who made us laugh

he wasn’t shy

we sang his songs

that’ll never die


Many thanks to Paul Prussing for his kind permission to use the image for the cover of the book. A print entitled Red Anthurium taken from a collection of paintings belonging to acclaimed Hawaiian artist Rosalie Mae Prussing.

And to Mya for her selection.

Lastly, a note of appreciation to Alex Marsh, fellow poetry contributor and Editor of Pennine Ink Magazine, Burnley, UK. Who found time in his busy schedule and graciously agreed to review the book. And to Haley Chung for her creative design and formatting expertise.


to my grandchildren:

Who continue to inspire and teach me. The way they look at things. Their love. Their attention to life.

for Joy


In Memory




A Good Woman


Loving You


Thought of You

Ode to a Son


The Snows of Alexandria


I Want to Too


Marylou’s Cherry Pie





Old Man’s Refrain


Dancing Not Moving

Pop Quiz Seminar

Twenty Five Flowers

Black Swan

Finding Home

Scent of Peggy


I Have You

Red and Delicious

The Rain’s Waterfall

Swan Head Rocking Chair

Reflections of Mirabelle

Recipe HOW TO Make The Best Mom

The Bay House


Tree House

Mike and Marge

Squarest Circle

Food for Thought

Deep Sea Fishing

New Start


The Red Bench




White Coats

Q and A

Stunted Growth

Eating an Apple in Angst

Friday Night Pizza

More We Don’t Know

Cauliflower Clouds

Death of a Business Card

Holy Matrimony


Clean Windows

Aim High

Lunch Wagon


A Bridge Too Far

Sweet Peach

Tasting Menu

Libby’s House


Black Grapes

Penny Save


The Red Begonia

Nickel’s Not Enough


El Dinero


View from the Porch


Fresh Start


Street Prophet


The Abbreviated Frank

Hot Rod

The Smarter Sex

Good Cook

Feast of Thanksgiving

Distant Shore

Passion Fruit

Ruby Reds

A Human Race

Oasis on the Freeway

Christmas Card

House Marker

Pineapple on Top

Casa de Valores

River Runs Through

By the Sea

The Gallop


Rant of Why

Brightest Star

Watering Can



About the Author

a few love poems

and other short stories


And when you stare

Look for commonality there

Accept more than you don’t

And regret what you won’t

Reach out and congratulate more

Act not to criticize and profess

Find a cause and fight to close the door

See your neighbor as one to bless

And when life seems it’s just not fair

Think of the burdens we all must share.

A Good Woman

Waving good bye

Wild flowers she planted in yard

Watching bumblebee land on lilac bush

Grass cut in time endless day’s rain

Throwing hand blown kiss,

Honk of car horn,

Admiring eye remembers the years she gave to me.


Lying by your side

head resting below your chin

finger teasing curly hair;

Music of night’s refrain:

whispered words,

curled up inside my ear.

When candle lights the dark

Play on.

Loving You

Loving you is like falling in love each day for the first time.


Joy isn’t in things

Or what we find for ourselves.

The magnificence of a dream:

The one we hold and share together

With another.

Thought of You

Early light of morning

Stillness, cloud giving way to blue

Chest rising, deeper breath,

Waking hour thoughts filled of you.

Ode to a Son

You are older and wiser now

And have seen the other side

The debt will be retired, the house will be sold soon.

Invest the money and take them to dinner too

Tomorrow, all anyone has left.

Family looks to you. They do.

Hold their hand and engage your children

Importance of education, books to read, and in between the pages

They will be the learned

Someday, not far the day’s end

They will look up and say I’m glad my Dad was there

My teacher. My rock. My friend.

I know Dads believe in making the lives of their family better

And I thank my Dad for what he did

And I love him for that.

And your children will say these things about you

Because you are a good and decent son

Fulfilling the dream: becoming the father you wanted to

And they will be happy

And want to grow up to be just like you.


Don’t act lawyerly, expel: cunningly

Leave pomposity undisturbed earth

You could be out of a job,

lose your wife,

watch family run

Finger wagging, he’s done

Be glad your kids call you

Be happy your dog greets you

Unaffectionate cat curls up on your lap

Know when it’s time to take off that hat

Smirk less, smile more

Hold that child you adore

Count the days for remembering

When love was there for sending.

The Snows of Alexandria

Boyhood building tallest snowman

wanting to show creativity below

stop the night before curtain lifted

flow of gin, the fight, and so

Dream of calm tomorrow

siblings huddle laying low

blizzard of thoughts surrounding

sun melting more than snow

Five fingers one family

born of sinew and bone

longing to rest bed of harmony

search for what they own

Grasping at buried hand to hold

reaching: home a place to know

hardness of change that doesn’t come

wishing winds of hope will blow.


Steady a surgeon’s hand

Professorship: tireless purpose

The leaves on his tree.

Soda pop bottle shared by two

Train set carrying cargo of dreams

Toys in the attic not for sale

Brightest of day, childhood lies weeping

Curse the cold wind that came and took him away.

I Want to Too

You asked about her

you wanted to know

I answered

I want to too, and so

No passing day without embrace

years counted, a single day

finest hours leave lingering taste

remembering them all

I want to too, this way.


Pick up at pre-school

Boy running through class: leaps into father’s arms.

A child yesterday, man on his way

Bearing all things, new beginnings,

Sacred love.

Marylou’s Cherry Pie

Aunt Marylou’s tart cherry pie

Her passing a struggle hard fought

Shady fruit tree in yard gone long ago

Relationship not.


I don’t know when you were there


Leaving home

Shutting door

Loveliness the room, beside you.


They married in mid-life

Old enough to say no

Too young to do anything else

Anxious to love again

They said it felt right

Believing he was the one (a good catch)

The woman long ago unspoken

Never there, due with child

He not seeing, yearning

The call came her passing

Wanting to say goodbye

Holding picture book remembering

Choosing he did not to say

A wife worthy, dispossessed

A giving man she once knew, she thought.


Fanciful dreams and liaisons and such

Sound the chorus and flame the torch

Laughing is easy

Like collecting thoughts for a penny

And tasting wine from the lips of stolen kisses.

Tales of passion and tearful lament

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(Pages 1-27 show above.)