Zócalo Poets: Poems of Love and Desire

Hummingbird_photograph copyright Paul Nguyen

Love and Desire are Eternal, the very Essence of Poetry. Today is Valentine’s Day and Zócalo Poets has a variety of poems about Life’s inexhaustible themes. Some of them are short enough that you should be able to memorize them for that special someone – be you secret admirer or BFF!

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Langston Hughes (1902-1967)

Easy Boogie”

Down in the bass
That steady beat
Walking walking walking
Like marching feet.

Down in the bass
They easy roll,
Rolling like I like it
In my soul.

Riffs, smears, breaks.

Hey, Lawdy Mama!
Do you hear what I said?
Easy like I rock it

In my bed!

.     .     .

Helene Johnson (1906-1995)

Poem” [from the 1920s]
Little brown boy,
Slim, dark, big-eyed,
Crooning love songs to your banjo
Down at the Lafayerre–
Gee, boy, I love the way you hold your head,
High sort of and a bit to one side,
Like a prince, a jazz prince. And I love
Your eyes flashing, and your hands,
And your patent-leathered feet,
And your shoulders jerking the jig-wa.
And I love your teeth flashing,
And the way your hair shines in the spotlight
Like it was the real stuff.
Gee, brown boy, I loves you all over.
I’m glad I’m a jig. I’m glad I can
Understand your dancin’ and your
Singin’, and feel all the happiness
And joy and don’t care in you.
Gee, boy, when you sing, I can close my ears
And hear tom-toms just as plain.
Listen to me, will you, what do I know
About tom-toms? But I like the word, sort of,
Don’t you? It belongs to us.
Gee, boy, I love the way you hold your head,
And the way you sing, and dance,
And everything.
Say, I think you’re wonderful. You’re
Allright with me,
You are.

.     .     .

Audre Lorde (1934-1992)


I dream of a place between your breasts

to build my house like a haven

where I plant crops

in your body,

an endless harvest

where the commonest rock

is moonstone and ebony opal,

giving milk to all of my hungers,

and your night comes down upon me

like a nurturing rain.

.     .     .


And more Poems…..


Claude McKay’s The Snow Fairy:



Langston Hughes’ Love Poems and Blues Poems:



Pat Parker’s Love poems:



Contemporary Love poems:


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