I have recently been reading through some of my older poems. This was written with the intention of keeping it to myself, as I often do these past few years with more personal poetry. I have been short on time for writing lately, so I decided to tweak this one a bit, and share it here.


Maybe you ask
Why do I carry the dream of us in my heart?

I think of your skin,
moist and heated under the glide of my fingers,
and the way your name is a salty sweet kiss
across my searching tongue.

Still, I cannot shape words into an answer.

Why does a traveler take a flask
into the desert?

Shirley Alexander


Filed under life, love, poetry

16 responses to “Quinch

  1. I am nodding my head, yes, yes, as I read this. Yes.
    Perfectly written – understated urgency.

    • Thank you, Jonnia. It seems like a lifetime since I first wrote this. I’ve had a lot of mixed feelings about going through some of my old poetry, but most of those feelings are positive. I look at where I was at the time, and where I am now. Hindsight is maybe not 20/20, but it is still pretty much a learning experience. I usually look back and, if I can’t find anything else positive, I say, “Well, at least I got a poem from it.” *smile*

  2. In order to live is why the flash is taken into the desert, my friend, very similar to why you carry the dream. Excellent poetry.

    • *smile* Thanks, Jerry.
      Yet, sometimes a traveler takes an empty flask into the desert because there is always hope of finding an oasis where it can be filled. In the same manner, keeping the memory of love alive in our hearts also serves the purpose of reserving a place for it to grow again.

  3. Elaine Randall English

    Very nice….and very true.

  4. Hi Shirley,

    I like this poem alot! The hope that resounds is so strong.
    For myself I still relate, even in a long term relationship the hope that it will be lasting, when there is no sign of why someone should continue to love you.
    I think we all take a flask into the desert full at first of every dream and hope that before it empties that oasis will emerge to re-fill us. πŸ™‚
    This metaphor you’ve used can be applied to so many levels of relationship. I most impressed as always with your talents.
    Beautiful! Thankyou for sharing this wonderful poem. πŸ™‚

    with much love to you and the family
    (((BIG HUGS))))

    • Tikarma,

      Thank you for this encouraging comment. I haven’t had time to write a lot lately, and the process of “tweaking” older poems sort of gives me a bit of a lift–not like writing something new, but still better than letting it rest.

      I’m happy you see the hope expressed beneath the words. It is in our nature to hold on to hope when we have conditioned ourselves to seeing one path, and it’s hard to focus on another. Still, like the man who carries an empty flask in hopes of finding a stream, I carry a place in my heart where love will someday be welcomed again, and (hopefully) returned in kind.

      And, you are right. We should never take love for granted when we have it, regardless of how safe we feel in the relationship. It is a thing of value, and should be treated so.

      We are having some really lovely weather this week! 79 (F) today! That’s warm enough for shorts, and a few people were sporting them today. I put a 24 pk carton of Yoo Hoo’s (drinks) out on the back porch on a counter just this past Sunday. I was saving them to put in a cooler for a road trip Dude and I are taking next week. He had taken 3 of them out, and he asked for one today. I went to get it, and when I stuck my hand inside the paper carton, I encountered a huge bird’s next! Fast work, Tweetie! LOL I think I hear summer humming around the corner. *smile*

      Love you much!
      XOXOXO (((BIG HUGS)))

  5. belfastdavid

    Wonerful poem Shirley,

    I have always admired your ability to say so much with the minimum of words.

    A yellow sticky poem this – to be written up and then stuck where it can be seen on a regular basis πŸ™‚

    Don’t let go of the flask

    Much Love

  6. David,

    Thank you. Coming from you, that is a really cherished compliment. It is an ability I learned from reading one of my favorite poets. *smile* The original poem was much longer. I have yet to master the art of brevity, as I still do have a tendency to chatter too much, and it often shows up in my writing. I have also noticed an overuse of unnecessary parenthesis (I know), and I am trying to curb that!
    A yellow sticky note is a nice thought.
    Regardless of what stones life throws toward the flask it is unbroken, and lies safe and secure in my heart. Always.

    Much love,

  7. Jeff WB

    Your poems turn on a part of my brain I never knew existed until recently. As I told you earlier, I still don’t know why this poem makes me sad. I find it surprising that anyone has ever allowed you to walk away with an empty flask without running to catch you. Equally, I find it surprising you would waste time worrying about any person who would. Are you back from your travels yet? Did you try the mansion at Forsyth? Would like to know how that went. I enjoyed the poem, sadness and all. (J)

  8. What a wonderful comment. I appreciate that so much! If the poem makes you sad in any way, please know that there can be beauty in sadness. Any emotion is better than none, and all emotion makes us more aware of who we are and the role we play in this life.

    You know me too well. Yes, it is unlike the “me” most people see, but I have not really been my traditional self for a few years now. All the time I spent with Thomas when he was dying, and some events which followed, have changed me–or maybe caused me to see myself better. Maybe it is time I got back, a bit. But, I will always walk away a little more slowly than I used to. But, you know all that.

    Oh goodness! I cannot thank you enough for telling me about that place! All the way, Nicole kept complaining that we wouldn’t be in our usual digs at the Hyatt down by the river. She and I both love to watch the ships come in, and she loves shopping on River Street.

    Well, the minute we walked into the Mansion, she started to change her mind. The room, and especially that monster of a bath tub clinched it. LOL I have been wanting to spend more time in the parks and walking the beautiful squares. So, I finally got to do that. I calculated it in my head, and I think we averaged about ten to twelve miles a day! I took a photo of Nicole, sitting on a bench and refusing to move until we rested. Ha! Grandma tired out the teenager. I took 348 pictures! I downloaded them to an old laptop so I could weed through them before I add them to my big computer. Photos take so much room.

    Next trip, we have decided we will visit all the cemeteries, not just Colonial. We did go to Telfair just to see the Bird Girl, but we found so much more! There is so much really great art in Savannah. Also, I ordered “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” by logging onto Netflix from my Droid before I left Savannah, and it arrived yesterday. We watched it last night, and I will sit through it again tonight with Nicole. It is a bit different from the book, and the main star in the movie is Savannah itself. Beautiful!

    Looking forward to Tuesday.

    Much love,

  9. Hi Shirley –

    Long time, no see! I just wanted to pop by and let you know I really liked this poem. I have you bookmarked now!

    • Thank you, Abby. Are you posting on WP? I will see if I can find your blog and subscribe.

      • You’re on Blogger. I am too. I’ll subscribe from there. I’ve been meaning to catch up on Paul’s blog too. I should have some time over the next couple of days, and I am looking forward to reading your words again.

  10. there are good reasons for many things, bless you.
    keep shining like a star.

    Invite you to contribute to our short story slam today, it could be a poem or a short story,

    Be creative,
    Have fun!

    Bluebell Books!