For Leilani

May 14, 2018 § Leave a comment

Erupting Volcano credit Steven Hager

Photo credit Steven Hager








I am an active volcano
Beneath my mantle is magma fommented
Sulphur roils into toxic venting clouds

Seams tear through my crust, opening
Furious pools of boiling crimson, spitting
White, scaly ash in the air, landing
All over everything like oily snow

Capricious Pele is offered sacrificial ointments, salves and creams
Pacified, the inflamed goddess sleeps
Dormant for days, erupting again with no warning

And yet I am not Paradise rising
A gift to Heaven from the Sea
Covered in flowers, fruit, and trees



October 20, 2017 § Leave a comment


I have nothing against the duck

They are very well and good

The emerald sheen on the mallard head

In the flesh or a decoy of wood

Yet sometimes they hint of discarded old shoes

On the banks filthy and wet

Then in glides the swan and all that is foul

We are obliged to forget

Penance of a Stampcrab

July 13, 2017 § Leave a comment


If you are familiar with your Old English then you must know that the word “Stampcrab” refers to a person who is heavy-footed, clumsy and ungraceful.

Although I am slight of build, in days of yore I could have been known as Stampcrab Truelove especially by anyone living in the chambers below me or by the fair maiden accepting my invitation to dance the gigue.

My stampcrabbiness has landed me into more trouble recently in the form of a broken toe. Before the age of modern medicine this type of injury might have proven fatal but in 21st century it just serves as a painful reminder of my oafishness with every step.

There’s nothing wrong with my hands, thankfully, so I scratched out a little verse under the influence of Percocet while icing my poor little piggy.

Penance of Stampcrab

Every footfall, an electric prod of human frailty

Each limp betrays weakness to predators

Each and every slogging step sends a contrite apology

Ahead of me, people wait impatiently

Behind me, the swift curse at my heels, exasperated

The price of a clumsy gait through life


October 30, 2014 § Leave a comment


My touch brings a chill

A golden leaf, she trembles

Our summer is gone

Why Dogs Love Snow

February 9, 2013 § Leave a comment

ZakAnyone who owns a dog has witnessed their reaction to snow and has probably wondered why they get so get excited.

The recent blizzard that rolled through the Northeast U.S. last night, leaving behind several inches of the stuff, has the dogs in my neighborhood in a special type of euphoria.

Here is a simple villanelle that I think does a good job of explaining why all the fuss.

Why Dogs Love Snow

This is why all dogs love snow
They were once angels like Gabriel
Dog reversed spells God, you know

Who will protect man if we go?
They have no claws, teeth or sense of smell
This is why all dogs love snow

Man’s wits its true are keen, although
They’re often led astray to Hell
Dog reversed spells God, you know

Winter sky; lonely howls come from below
Send news divine in an epistle
This is why all dogs love snow

On every crystal flake words flow
From quills dipped in seraphim’s inkwell
Dog reversed spells God, you know

Frozen to his fur, dog plucks a folio
And reads aloud to man this sacred mail
This is why all dogs love snow
Dog reversed spells God, you know

9 Word Football

November 24, 2012 § 1 Comment

“Dynamism of a Soccer Player” by Umberto Boccioni

I have always enjoyed “Dynamism of a Soccer Player” by Umberto Boccioni. I have visited it many times at the MoMA here in New York.

In the painting Boccioni breaks down the form of a soccer player into pure energy that moves out into the surrounding atmosphere.

I have never been very good with a paint brush, as many an art teacher and the dingy walls of my apartment can attest. I did, however, attempt to deconstruct a soccer game I saw recently. Here’s to all you strikers out there who like to keep your game simple.

9 Word Football
Kick, Kick, Kick
Kick, Kick…Foul…Card
Kick, Kick, Kick…
Kick, Head…Kick
Kick, Kick, Kick

Morrissey Plays Bass in a Country Band

November 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

John Truelove channels Morrissey on Bass

I must play the one and fifth only
And listen to myths troubling and lonely
Of cheatin’ and lyin’ and blue eyes a’cryin’
In the rain where farms burn to the ground

The whisky and smoky refrains
The rumbling rhythm of trains
The drawl and the twang and Good Old Boy slang
The Nashville and Bakersfield sound

Long roads, hard times and good people
Faith and the little white steeple
Captured in verse for better or worse
Troubles and joys are entwined

With four-string and passport in hand
I am leaving this old country band
For England’s bleak shores and her moldy old bores
Where sorrow is much more refined

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing the Poetry category at John Truelove Writer.