This page updated 28 November 2005

Older Poetry...
love poems,
erotic poems,
and two songs

by Dan Byrnes

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Poem 1+
very short love poems

Naked like murmurs
she stirs in the flesh

the kiss
down by the corner of her mouth
a flavour of wine and the tilt of her smile
hover like doves on my tongue

our affair
had the destiny
of ending
in such
short poems as this
it must have been
better than that


Poem 2
the kiss

down by the corner of her mouth
a flavour of wine and the tilt of her smile
hover like doves on my tongue


Poem 3

happy in her beauty she
scatter leaf from north blonde tree
bent, blue short dress and shatter
brown legs curve down eyes batter
smile she smiled laughing me
laughing that be half her life
laughing oh! is her drum fife
cool cool she sway a wind
kept calm in her trimmed
oh! self unleashed outside her blithe
sweet bone world she sends out to be
nothing but life oh! constant as
tides she washes beach wave as
happy in her inner beauty she
scatter leaf from north blonde tree


Poem 4
she cried

after laughing, naked
yet sorry set eyes set in sorry wet face
just set yet eyes get wet tears let grace
in/out in/out yet words get tears lace
bed time she cried pet her years place
well met sorry night men race
here wet face streaked tear glace
eye skin streak stay sorry set yet cry sad trace
hurt skin feelings no sad she cried no ace
joker kiss tear gone come another why pace
away hold her tight smile away happy embrace
sigh tear set wet tear face
yet still sorry set eyes in sorry set face
before laughing, naked


Poem 5
Memo to the Lady

I would like to warn you,
my lady,
that the next time
your fingers touch my balls
I will explode
in a sheet of flame
you might just
as easily taste.


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Poem 6

knelt over her spread below me
my throbbing
up over her butterfly stomach
all skin alive
to round, rounder her breast
tapping the nipple
lightly surface knocking
put her hand over her breast and its lover
as closer, harder to her
glazed her eyes, closed mouth open/tongue licking
lips glistening
then the other breast
it pleased her so

she was willing
i not yet spilling, so
she took it in her mouth
a question she advanced
upon sucking/fingering/tonguing
slowly blessed
lip-pressed, sucked, sucked
my hands caressing her hair gentle
wondering she tasted the unusual
sunburst: smiled with
newly discovered pleasure
going to her stomach


Poem 7

all naked
hips hungry
sat upon my thighs
hanging happy over me,
faces kissing
slowly slow-ly wriggled
until the lips of her glowing warmth
part encased my erect enjoying
hip rocked back and forth
oozing living sensations
all along the shaft
up and down,
opened further till her
legs fully splayed
up and down
all along
up and down
all along
lifted the erect higher
fitting it hungrily into herself
sacredly moving adoring
and began to soar,
whipping her head around
and around in sympathy with
my upthrusting her
growing skill
pure motion ensued
till she fell upon
i still in her
fell out
she rested
upon my slowly heaving chest
wrapped her arms around
the kissing me
kissing us

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Poem 8
thick and black

I recall her pubic hair
as ferny vegetation, thick and black.
Amazing... there she lay
upon her wide and undulating back
with one leg thrown,
the other raised at knee,
the whole scene lit
with a muted streetlight's desire to see.
With one arm waiting behind
her easy, calm and contemplative head,
and her pillowed eyes
whispering from that breezy single bed,
we aboundingly
but for such a short time shared,
there, her limpid nudity, there
unrestrained, after less than a week was bared.
- I did more
than look, I stared
to between her opened
cream-and-tawny thighs, as, thick, full and black
that hair, refined, light, so youthfully
crinkled, crisped, close-textured and often tack
with the sheening fluids we each
in the other made overflow
as we looted desire and time
of a passionate, sensual undertow.
It was at all odd hours
that I fingered that hair
for long and long
while she smiled at all the pleasure there.
Over weeks,
over long, clean, verve-curved thighs
my leaping hands
celebrated, and my fascinated eyes
saw how well defined
was the suddenly rising edge
of pubic hair
from her warmly summered skin.
A hedge, almost
one of luxurious contrast
to the near-transparent female grass
upon her thighs and lower abdomen.
Black! Black to the last:
bushy, all natural scented;
firmly intimate hair all in-skin knotted
perfectly round her flesh so belling,
churning, welling out,
ahh, so lingeringly, lust-besotted.


Poem 9

like a poem, perhaps...
the gradual tongued apartness
after the decision to be party to it.
the strangeness of new, moisty places,
unusual intimate tastes, novel perspectives
and the tearing at the hair from above.

from numerous directions, in many places,
and almost passionless sensuality, past adoration
this pleasure, satinly constructed;
a little of
the real perfume beads the face, lulls the mind.

whose point of view prevails - so much openness,
so much space to be filled with the anticipated.

begin at the shoulder's curve,
follow with barely parted lips and taste the erogens,
till hovering, nuzzle teasingly,
intuite the parting thighs which seek variety,
peel the fruit till dazzled flesh
reduces itself to contact
which unburdeningly gives itself
up to most beautiful, heart-warmed frictions,
and undulations gently slide down sweet intensities
which twist and ride up and over
lilted music in us -
sup and sip the most sated saliva ever glanded,
kneading nubs of luscious,
luminescent - what must be for her, loveliness.
Look in and kiss folded depths
opened with delirium,
closed with a slow, natural restraint
which permits a moderation,
for, from beginning to end, such
luxuries cannot persist, and more potent,

violent pleasures must needs batter the coiled bodies

which is not to say too little for the talking

or how to obliterate time


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(Written after reading Beaudelaire's Flowers of Evil)

Poem 10

We lie there in heat, nakedly,
until you, lady,
begin to stroke with such devotion
and lazily lick your lips -
Then you curve your smiling body round my legs.
your fingers tipped with gradual lust
are lace, embroidering this king of pleasure.
you stretch your leg
and blow on my hair, on my skin,
then across the top of my thighs.
You slowly close your eyes;
you kiss once the shaft
and turn the tap of soft ecstasy
to a waterfall through my pelvis.
You shift, to begin to enjoy this more.
One of your breasts settles into
the bower of my hip,
and with your mouth all apart you explore.
Your face seems awed by tallness.
You wet with your tongue all sweet luxury,
sucking delicately over and round,
up and down;
your hair wafts across my stomach,
rythmically, erotically demure.
Your shoulders have a gentle power,
as, fingers kneading at the base,
your kissing lips group deep on purple.
Veins distend, and you control
such a well-designed uproar
into a caressingness of waiting.
I hover in your mouth.
Waiting, I become cylindrical.
I want to roll. I thrust.
You retreat. You take me in your mouth.
You fix your throat.
You slow, you quicken,
you taste on taste.
I moan, too glad, enclosed,
until as you take me liquefied
to flood your curiosity
I leap whitely across your tongue
and you release me
like a loving word you have spoken
enchantingly over and over again.
One flick, the tip of your tongue convulses me.
You kiss the shortening man,
your mouth dripping with
my fluid and your saliva.
Later you stroke
your wet discoveries
with one slow finger, dazed.
Then you smile with your eyes.
You roll over to ask how it was.
With your legs so apart,
your hair so wet,
and your centre glistening
you seem more ready
than ever before.
You stroke your own breast
and spread your toes.
Later when your hips lift
and I enter you quickly
your body moves like a tongue.
Then you begin to arch,
I cannot say how well.
I move to kiss your tongue, your mouth,
to dwell there in your breath
as you keep rolling,
moaning, giving, glad.


Poem 11
ancient lovers

within a sigh of contentment -
leaves whirling down the windy street
brushed almost against her breast
within a sigh of contentment who greets
first some memory of a subtle test
her naked skin he saw in a half light...
beginnings of the love poem
seventeen wonders for you
my beauty, among them
the fact you are alive to see the world,
the green, the spark, the live crest
my love, i am too new
as we lean nearer

her complexion,
most often in summer, the unexpected angle
of a woman's cheek catching sunlight and beaming
light filled with her anatomy into my eyes
her face, just for a shining instant
the boat, the exhausted oar, the groan of afterlove
sweating, the hand across the hair as if the horizon
had melted, a momentary illusion before
the broad smile, the lip service


completely still night air
filled with lovers hovering on discovery
the warm day swinging
at the passing away of time, flame shudders silky
teeth catch
the gentle tautness natural at the start of frenzy
she considers the smell of her dampness
one of them wonders 'what am I doing?'
laziness melts.

a single grief rustles,
a lizard in the heart's drier land,
once, swiftly, and a tongue speaks out from wet silence
a groan, an inexpression
later one of them drank water from a glass
and wiped a mouth with the back of a hand
when the smell is intense
when the variable night locks its secrets
an eye reading an eye
a hand reaches for clothes
a hand on a shoulderbone
one arm stills over a sad feeling
how long have we been apart?
passion a kind of architecture
for each other's sense of eternity

a fastidious glint of hair at the thighs
a single flush of blood
a single fingertip
a love bite under the mouth
blood has much to do with it
archaic patterns, ancient lovers
and a cry of antiquity


a summer
has killed a winter
they are already drinking wine
the rose throws greetings out
on the soft power of the day's incline
the lips move through speech
the currents of shadows flood
away into the dreams
of grass
where love is


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Poem 12

Her poems
like a hand feeling fabric
her words are precise covers
for uncertain shapes
coloured with ambiguous pastels.
About the shape of the hills
she is silent.
She looks from the hilltops, though,
more and more discreetly,
to the horizons of discreet anquish.
Things as are, not quite sayable -
are on the silent horizon
in recurring presence, recurring.
This is waiting for the sun.
This is waiting for the day of straightness
woven like a gown she once saw
and desired
like a draught of clear spring water.


Poem 13
an adultery of the eye

Seldom have I had the luck
to observe a perfect woman.
However, I did see one,
blonde, possibly German,
in a tram,
spick and span
right down to the gleam
of a polished wedding ring.
Her lips were tilted in the direction
of a smile in perpetual motion.
After a time she put
her sunglasses back on
and consulted a notebook.
Her handwriting was excellent.


Poem 14
How the years play tricks

I dreamed of a lover from years ago
and she was dressed in green.
She smiled as readily as she always had,
though she never said where she'd been.

I was working, engrossed, absorbed...
We lived together awhile.
I wondered why she stayed nearby.
As always I was captured by her smile.

Why was she here? I dreamed. I never wondered.
We finally went to bed.
She went with me more naturally
than she ever had, to sleep head to head.

How the years play tricks.
I woke and cursed. I never need reminding
how a cure for passion hasn't been found,
how the memories keep unwinding.

She hasn't been heard of for quite some time.
I felt a kind of indignity.
I can't tell with this dream. Did I visit her?
Or did she, for some reason, visit me?


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Poem 15
The Warehouse

in the warehouse of words,
I view the stock and tell the manager,
"No way you'll foist on me
what your usual customers buy.
This is a special case, I tell you.
She reminds me of so many unwritten poems."


Poem 16
alive to her

I search her face
at a slow pace.
Her eyes linger,
a tracing finger,
as I react
to her innate facts.

Her hands rest
as the birds nest.
As her words flow,
a world does go.
Her face moves
in such complex hues.

Her face drops
when any clown clops
his hands on a table
to any boring fable.
Her frame dances
as a feather prances
in the silent sounds
of my eyes round.

If I touched her
her skin will stir
in one all-rippling
face go stippling.
Slow passions go
by her threshold low.


Poem 17
lovers' words

We lovers don't sleep together out of habit
or having nowhere else to go.
Nor do we quail, cry grief, or split
our lives for what we cannot know.

The logic of blood, our reason, in its hunger.....
The corsair of sleep and season at anchor here,
lapped by lustrous blue at wharf of Time's finger;
sails of touching skin, that, desiring, clear

the watching air of any intent but a proud fear
of the dissipation of the stillness,
the cloud, the near heaven.
These, all, stir within our morning, and, purely soaring,
leap up to kiss the sun's dawning -
which longing kiss, desultory, clean,
is our own shady, pensive awning.


Poem 18
On being ready to fall in love again

Is it the flouting of risk,
the nightly dreams about anything, about everything?
Showing off complacency, a shrug,
the past looming in like a video camera asking
"You mean you actually....?"

Yes. Yes. Of course,
the first couple of arguments will be agony.
How could anyone ever really understand?
And you know how quaint it is when someone
walks a little differently,
talks a little differently,
when they fall in love again,
as they try on a new mood, a series of new moods,
a different kiss, in the midst of wondering.

Yes, despite all,
to fall in love again...
tangents of conversation that get lost
among tangents of conversation,
laughing in different and unexpected places,
do you like this food, this colour,
this set of colours?

Do you find...?
Do you....?
Do we?


Poem 19
Tribute to Body Language

To my second favourite memory,
oh, she laid me long and cool,
led me to betray myself
and call myself a fool.

The rhetoric of gesture
that she used to raise my soul...
but the unclear meanings seized me
in some void, embodied whole.

Her movements were a monologue
defying all the world
to cipher any meanings
in her body's sweeping, skirled.

With her on the plateaus high,
to fill the void with words
I destroyed her self-born speaking
with precise, pedantic verbs.

That strangled our fine dialogue,
and finally laid it down
grammatically correct and all,
dressed in syntax' flaxen gown.

But now? She speaks no words
at all to me. Can I translate?
The silence is all hectic.
Love became debate.


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Poem 20
as though from a distance

(for Birgitta)

Sat ransom'd in quietness,
like a bright one leaning
from an opening in the sky;
a stargazer guided by
a seeking past seeming,-
or a slim light pacing at darkness'
door, to and fro, frail by flickering.
In her presence the space of a fertile mesh,
some goddess' essence or sense
once trailed by incandescence...

Storm lightning she rose, flesh
graven, filled with speech and clearing.

the lace at her wrist, possibly
at the window with the wind; or in a museum,
in a display, pieces of lace.
as though from a distance
something of the past
met the present with her sway.
and i remember her face
all gay, and wine in a dark red restaurant.
i remember how a voice soft
with her quietness carried
her mellow limpidness, rather old,
and her twin youth, subdued, and yet bold,
that i cannot stop remembering.
it is autumn here. the colours glow.
and i want to replace the fallen leaves
with a little love;
perhaps in a letter,
as though from a distance
she could see the uneven glow
of the colours, the throbbing autumn heart's
yellows, burgundies, lush,
the reds, golds, rich, scattered
all over the place,
versus, one night in spring,
the shell white lace she wore.
perhaps in a letter,
as though from a distance, in some spiral,
she could see the colours soar.


As published in Kangaroo, UNE, in 1980


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Song 1 (item 22)

Jenny, I remember, blue eyes and a reckless love.
Jenny, do you remember, naked light and a sharing of?
That was such a long street to go by,
wandering, filled with light.
How you fled your nightmare, as a woman might.

Lover, can you still see the memory that you gave to me?
Dancer, with a silence, in a quiet time, so cheerfully.

Saturday night, and I'm lonely.
I want to hear your wine-glass voice.
We'll love until the morning, if you make the choice.
Jenny, on your island, when the forest wept and you were there,
weeping, in the solitude, lovingly, oh you were rare.
Such a bad case of "if only"... We'll have dinner right on nine.
You know that I can't forget you, and you were hard to find.
Jenny, you're a night owl, feather light when the moon is right.
Flying, where no one goes, only those with an astral light.


Note: Lyrics and music by Dan Byrnes

Song 2 (item 23)
Travellin' Woman

Originally she came from Zurich,
Oh she's been to so many places by now.
Where she's gonna settle down is something no one really knows.
Just now, you can find her in Old Penang.

Aged cities capture her, with a loose rein on her heart.
She says she's gonna stay there, till the urge to move, gives her a start.
Travellin' women with a graceful walk,
how I love sit with her and drink the wine, and (to) (hear her) talk.

Sweden was the first place that she'd been to,
eighteen years and just beginning to show,
the restlesness and the wisdom of a woman with no home,
except the world around her, as it rang.

Aged cities they capture her, with a loose rein on her heart.
She says she's gonna stay there, until the urge to move gives her a start.

Italy and Spain were the next in line,
and maybe, too, a broken heart, that's fine,
if you want to see everything this world has got to show,
if you feel there's such a lot, that you have to know.

Aged cities (they) capture her, with a loose rein on her heart.
She says she's gonna stay there, until the urge to move. gives her a start.

Officially she was from Switzerland,
on a Russian train talkin' history to Russian men.
Drinkin' vodka on the platforms 'cross Siberia.
Then to Japan for the intoxication of a little Zen.

Travelling woman with a graceful walk,
how I loved to sit with her, to drink the wine and to talk.

Down she went on to Taiwan.
Bali freed her spirit from its chains.
When she came to Darwin, there was devastation there.
The fishermen, they took her out, and the ocean sang.

Aged cities (they) capture her,
with a loose rein on her heart.
She says she's gonna stay there, until the urge to move, gives her a start.
Travelling woman with a graceful walk, how I loved to hear her talk.

Down on through the Australian desert.
A friend at home had taken his own life.
Her memories they settled on the Great Dividing Range.
Oh, she used to say to me, isn't life a little strange?

Amiably, we'd surrender our speech,
to the common understanding that's out of reach,
of words that are not feathers of the great bird as it flies.
To me she sang. You can find her in Old Penang.

Travelling woman with a graceful walk, how I loved to hear her talk.
Aged cities they capture her, with a loose rein on her heart.
She says she's gonna stay there, until the urge to move, gives her a start.


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Note: Lyrics and music by Dan Byrnes

Poem 24
Different bedrooms

Despite the usual uses of geometry,
each room has new corners
and its own memories.
So many pillows and even earth I've slept on
have provided rest.
The two common things
are my restlessness
and being unable
to touch a strand of your hair.


Poem 25
Who is sleeping with...

Who is sleeping with. In the warm bed.
Where is the right word is exact in its shade of red.
Who is sleeping with. The lips aloud with love.
The ecstasy you wanted, followed by a shove.
Who is sleeping with. Whom? Where are they
you've slept with, tonight, today?
Who is sleeping with. The lonely ones. In dream.
A limpid breast of feeling, as the genitals do scheme.
Who is sleeping with. Exactly who in night
sleeps with whom, too soon, or late, unite.
Who is sleeping with. Upon what bed. Sea or moon.
Room. Fire. Door. Land. Sleepless as a crazed loon.
Who is sleeping with. Children or abortions.
Sexual, sensual, or perhaps, made erotic till contortions.
Who is sleeping with. Calm, calm as noon
taps summer's doorstep. Or does doubt wound?
Who is sleeping with. For years after years.
The turns of cheer and tear, as time calms fears.
Who is sleeping with. Do what is to do.
Sadness falls again when... with is sleeping who.


Poem 26

Joy my head (she said in bed)
You led me. Now have me fed.
Burst my brain 'gain. Do your worst.
Else I less than feel more curst.
Share my days like wedded hay.
Waste my days in lazy ways.
Slump a month in joyous bumps,
stump that pump to a numbed lump.
Flare into my flaming hair.
I dare you bare your soul's share.
Hear me today, dear year.
Nerve me here, lest my full wier
flood me. The text of lectures
I forgot in my passion's extra task.
Let's be stark, in the dark,
wave me here in my floating ark.
I feel so warm now in my storm.
Feel my born skin. Morn my dawn.
My lost time. You bossed the doss.
No more I toss my moss of loss.
You've seen me. Heard my windy dream.
I've been me. Thank you, my sun's beam.
This time, sublime, rhyme my climb.
Find me kind in my climbing vine.
Now I see the flea of we
itch the flesh of lust in me.
Why did I too long wrong this gong,
this bronze gong's strong loud song?
Kiss me you must. Now you thrust away.
Love, let's just gust.


Poem 27

She was a passing remark
to a very old desire.
She was willing, spilling her soul
on my heart, and she did gyre
in the smokiness of the room
as never another, like as not, will loom.
She was learning, making
herself in the undertaking,
so beautifully it was a gift.
All that night time we did drift
on the timelessness. That lark.
It was not impossible to tire
but it was an extended roll
on an ocean bed of fire;
in which she discerned a kind of doom -
she stopped her whirling on the sand dune,
went back to her other man waiting
there within the shadows of her flaking.
And as her parting remark
did lift her, I endured that rift
within the lute. Still I see that lark.

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Poem 28
Lover's Quarrel

They walk the knife-edge together,
but they disagree
about the sharpness of the blade,

They dream aloud, together, happy,
and they turn over in the half-light,
how it turns out different, different,
but they don't know why, as they can't predict when,
and this worries out the life they thought they'd have,
like ice in a crack in a rock,

They meld time together,
and take entirely different meanings,
and later disagree about the influences of the moon,

They roll together in search each of the other,
and then sink back, silenced,
and they can't say precisely what they saw,
this time or any other,
and the future burns as fitfully
as the present burns the past,

They try to live different lives together,
but they discover that together is not different,
and that different is not together, exactly,
and that exactly is not how anything ever remains,

They try to keep their own shape on things,
but disagree about how things take their own shapes on,
automatically, and,

They, most of all, can't understand
why love could turn out so unseemly, crying,
in a deeply imperfect world
where eternity invades time and change
in such variously inconvenient ways,
when the most innocent joy of all, originally,
was simply looking into each other's eyes
with such thankfulness,
and saying absolutely nothing,
small mercy in a hard world,
gone again.

Poem 29
telephone call pathetique

trembling to see her,
listening to her distant voice
peering down the line,
not making any kind of love
but room for more later,
when she will be real, choice,
actually present, a vine
of real woman presence dove
with flesh, peace and hereness?
Eerily this phone call stirs
only the faintest whirr
of five cent nearness.


Poem 30
figure eight

NOT TO LOVE IS............

(Note: This poem published in Melbourne street poetry and in Kangaroo, 1986-87 edition, an annual tabloid newspaper poetry publication, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia.)


silence poem

so finely contstellated
as is the growth of bone
lives a symmetry of silence
about a face akin to stone

yet still the eye will waver
and still the eye will strike
a silence against a silence
like a fern against a spike

so finely constellated
as is the growth of bone
lives a symmetry of silence
about a face akin to stone


Thank you for reading this far
Dan Byrnes

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