by Elizabeth Jill

I know where all the odd and old loves go
and why
they do not breathe a word

I know the fold of Circumstance's eye and I
know why
love closes shop and looks away

I've seen the garden, heard the footsteps taken
pushed aside,
and I know why
they only bloom at four o-clock

I've touched the hem of kindness,
worn its clothes
and I know why it weeps

I've scraped my knees across the boundaries
of love,
and I know why it is
that no amount of mourning ever is enough

I've memorized the alphabet of silence,
held its hand,
and I know why
there's nothing left to reckon

I've given feathers to the hard cement,
and covered all the ground,
still - I know why
things never will get softer

I've tangled in the vines and veins of love,
I've slept with anger's steam,
and I know why
these sorrows grow and grow

I know where all the odd and old loves go
and why
they do not breathe a word


Posted on 03/26/2011
Copyright © 2021 Elizabeth Jill

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Clara Mae Gregory on 03/26/11 at 09:19 PM

Many will not understand this. I know every word too well. This bond we share. This excells...

Posted by Jim Benz on 03/26/11 at 10:00 PM

That's lovely Jill, and very melancholy. I like it.

Posted by Charlie Morgan on 03/26/11 at 10:12 PM

...elizabeth jill-my love, from a distance we admire your beauty and your lovely, softly crushing words, so descriptive, so intersticed gorgeously...all over and thru! feathers on cement...the whole thing drenches with wonder, but then again, your graffiti would be Top Shelf.

Posted by George Hoerner on 03/27/11 at 02:26 AM

Excellent writ m'lady. I wonder how many of us live with alphabet of silence and its dictionary on our night stand. You've certainly captured my attention here.

Posted by Ken Harnisch on 03/27/11 at 05:22 AM

"I've scraped my knees across the boundaries of love, and I know why it is that no amount of mourning ever is enough" Ah, such words could stand by themselves and I would ask why they are true all night into the following dawn. Jill, you astound this cold spring evening, but then, when don't you ever?

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 03/27/11 at 01:18 PM

A truly powerful piece of writing Jill, a very unique voice...opinion on the topic of love, but without being loud or maudlin. Congrats on hitting #1, well deserved!

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 03/27/11 at 05:01 PM

The question and the answer, a brave title. Such a sorrow to feel unloved. Such a freedom to love others in spite of it.

Posted by Laura Doom on 03/27/11 at 06:20 PM

Now I know it comes from within...

Posted by Alison McKenzie on 03/27/11 at 06:21 PM

This covers a map of huge expanse, touches on some of the largest questions about love I've ever asked (myself and anyone else who might answer). I especially love the stanza about the garden and "why they only bloom at four o'clock ".

Posted by Gabriel Ricard on 03/27/11 at 08:18 PM

Lovely stuff, but I like that last stanza the most. It resonates with ease.

Posted by James Zealy on 03/28/11 at 04:15 PM

Ah but those past and lost loves always speak to us in our subconcious, it never quite goes away does it?

Posted by Melissa Arel on 03/29/11 at 03:29 AM


Posted by W. Mahlon Purdin on 04/01/11 at 12:02 PM

"I've scraped my knees across the boundaries of love, and I know why it is that no amount of mourning ever is enough" A beautiful answer to a question that cannot be answered. A wonderful, wonderful poem, Elizabeth.

Posted by Julie Adams on 04/01/11 at 04:26 PM

How deserving of it's seat atop the top-rated list, this is stellar...there is a hammock to this piece, how it allows you to dangle in it's vines...a beatuiful poem, in imagery, form, and diction, peace, jewels xoxox

Posted by E. A. Pugh on 04/02/11 at 06:59 PM

"I've scraped my knees across the boundaries of love" the crawling is stunning.

Posted by Sandy M. Humphrey on 04/04/11 at 09:05 PM

Been Away for awhile and I return to such a beautiful and emotional poem I had to fight back tears, you express with such truth. Amazing writing. smh

Posted by V. Blake on 04/04/11 at 10:33 PM

My praise is surely not needed at this point, but I would hardly go through the trouble of preventing myself from telling you how much I love this. It flows beautifully--perfectly, to be sure--and every single line is like a razor through all the haze in the world. You are the real deal, Lizzie. No question about it.

Posted by Paganini Jones on 04/04/11 at 10:35 PM

Outstanding, top notch writing.
"I've touched the hem of kindness,
and I know why it weeps"
A gret truth so simply put.
This goes immediately into my favourites.

Posted by Maria Massarella on 04/04/11 at 11:12 PM's been in my favourites since my first read and I have carried it in my heart's ears like an Andrea Bocelli song. Now that needs suffice as comment Jill'angel because I'm not going to tell the other places it takes me. lovelight*winks...m.a

Posted by Philip F De Pinto on 04/06/11 at 12:07 PM

my eyes touched the hem of this miraculous garment and were healed. now they see beyond the beyond and what is 20/20 but a pittance of what they see now. your poesie is salve and respite for the weary soul.

Posted by Gregory O'Neill on 04/06/11 at 07:39 PM

Like wisdom from an oracle. Beautiful in form and function. Love it. Thanks.

Posted by Kimberly Bauer on 04/08/11 at 01:48 PM

Very memorable.

Posted by JD Clay on 04/15/11 at 10:08 PM

This one definitely goes in the front of the book, EJ. You have poetic skin & bones, I swear.

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 06/25/11 at 01:19 AM

Wow! 20 ratings of Brilliant. A true testiment to this poem's quality and powerful message.

Posted by Glenn Currier on 06/28/11 at 03:47 PM

This obviously comes from a poet's life well lived. Your reflection is poignant and gentle in its wisdom. Thank you.

Posted by Philip F De Pinto on 04/13/12 at 02:33 PM

to revisit this ode is to fall head o'er heels in awe and love again, this alphabet of silence which you convey and reverberate so well, so startlingly well in the sweet hush and belcanto of the soul's chapel.

Posted by A. Paige White on 05/31/12 at 01:43 AM

Oh, Jill. I've been away too long.It is so refreshing to sip at your spring.
Your mastery of poetry leaves me feeling like a polaroid of my grandaughter playing with her set of blocks. Let me arrange them properly...
T h i s i s
P o e t r y.

Posted by Dan Linn on 06/01/12 at 01:45 PM

We can hardly define, let alone, personify love, but you have turned your senses to it and reveal a specter of multiple facets. Would that the spirit of love did not hold so much melancholy. It makes strangers of us all except in our collective desire and loss. You have given more than skin and feathers.

Posted by Aaron Michael on 06/03/12 at 08:56 AM

I. Love. You. Your beautiful soul. Your masterful spirit. Your unbelievable strength. Your genius. Your mind. You're amazing. I miss you, Harv.

Posted by George Hoerner on 09/16/12 at 07:31 PM

The dictionary of silence comes more and more to mind as I age. But like life, love can be so fleeting, somewhat like the rainbow as the colors fade. Love changes colors from the brightest red, to a spring meadow green, and on to the lightest of sky blues with Venus still shining in some corner. Have I told you how much I love your writing?

Posted by Gilly Wigley on 07/14/13 at 12:20 AM

Love this.

Posted by Veronica Phoenics on 12/03/13 at 11:03 AM

truly beautiful and heart-wrenching.

Posted by Aaron Michael on 02/24/19 at 04:06 PM

After all this time, you're still my favorite.

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 02/24/19 at 06:01 PM

Congrats on POTD, Jill. Well deserved. Upon seeing your name and poem, I sadly realize you haven't been around for a while; and miss your commentaries on my own work.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 02/24/19 at 06:35 PM

One of our most beloved poets. I do miss her.

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