all those latin names// it doesn’t do their beauty justice



it is the way of first dates,
a little nervouesness,
changing my dress a hundred times

i bike there, on the way
find a place to stop & sketch
sitting in the sun on concrete steps
the geometric movement of my pen
a safety net

“you look beautiful” he says with dry lips&
“your top’s a little transparent,
is this on purpose?”
we walk in and out of greenhouses,
humid warmth, blue & red birds
flattering round our heads
“look at this flower” i say
“what an amazing shape”

i’m careful not to touch too much,
he sometimes grabs my hand
and it feels like in 8th grade
“did i get on your nerves
with all my emails last week?”
“no” i shake me head “i just need time&— ”

in the next greenhouse runs a vid, a bee crawls,
drunk with longing for the scent the black&yellow flower
in her party dress emits from sprinkled pores,
then slips & slides along her stand, lip,
spit out, back-packed with her pollen
“goodness” i can’t get my mouth shut
“how amazing is that?”

we bike back along the river,
past old men who play pétanque, cigarettes arrested
in the corner of their mouth&

when we say good-bye
in front of the door at my friend’s apartment,
he holds me for a moment “take your time–
i love you”

gets on his bike,
turns around again
& kisses me,

not sure where to put the emphasis
like someone reading
first words for the first time,
trying to outline //and understand their shape
and meaning.


for OLN at dVersePoets


50 responses to “all those latin names// it doesn’t do their beauty justice

  1. Claudia, this is a very heartwarming, touching, and thoughtful poem. You wrote your experience in such a caring and natural way. It does sound like the two of you had an amazing time. And it definitely is good to take one’s time…and enjoy the feelings as they come….again.

  2. Your poem reads like an account of a first date. I enjoyed the way you portrayed your hesitations, feelings and his. It is a beautiful write. I like the sketch too and its warm colors which seem to reflect the warm tone of your poem.

  3. I feel almost like an intruder watching.. and reading your words.. but it sounds like you had a wonderful time… I hope all work out great also… and being on a date like this sounds great….

  4. I feel like I had a bird’s eye view ~ thanks. Loved the backpack bee pollen idea, very good.
    Describing a first kiss is hard – but I got it. Sounds like a lovely day.
    Your sketch had me captivated for quite a while before I read.
    Tina @ Life is Good

  5. I like the scenery of the old men with cigarettes arrested
    in the corner of their mouth ~

    But the ending is very poignant & touching ~ I am hopeful that things will work out for the best ~ Sometimes distance make us remember what we take for granted ~

  6. its hard to know…new beginnings….you have to re-learn trust….which means putting aside some of what has come before…in order to truly give a chance…and it also takes patience because it is not restored overnight…or on one date….it takes time….

  7. Sweet, gentle, smooth and thoughtful..
    The images of the bee and that of the old men are resplendent and add to the texture of the poem. Beautifully penned. 🙂

  8. I met a guy like that once … on the train from Kopenhagen, Denmark to Konstanz, Germany … he was as black as they cum, his lips were dry as paper, and his breath stank as manure … I fed him gallons of water on our 8 hour train ride … he was ready to be kissed good bye at the end of our trip … smiles

  9. Ah, new beginnings. I really feel the tentative nature of these events, it’s liking stepping out in the dark, not knowing whether there is firm earth available on which to stand. I too hope things work out the way that you want and hope for.

  10. Beautiful art work, Claudia! Your poem took me right into the greenhouse with the blue and red birds, fluttering about. LOVE the part about the bee and the flower – astonishing to witness that! You have captured the entire outing so well, I can see and feel it clearly.

  11. It’s touching! Like on a first date it means lots given to memories. Seems lots of hesitations and little surprises. Must have been fun! And great sketches too Claudia!


  12. I literally couldn’t stop reading!! This was so…sweet…real…heart-felt…! Wow… It must be hard to be in that position…where all the rules have to be learned again.

    • I rarely agree with Cosmo on anything…but on this one I do. I can identify so much with this. I always ignore the warning signs because I am so enamoured with the rest of what’s going on and ultimately live to regret it. Go carefully!

  13. Shyness is a good beginning–though he’s bold enough to ask if transparency is on purpose. How erotic the world is!

  14. A very moving poem, Claudia–I am reading into the story perhaps, but you convey both the surface and deeper truths of relationship. Really well done. Makes me so sad–but hope all well. k.

  15. Caludia, you do well in expressing new romance. Very nice piece of writing. I wonder, if I will ever be ready for that myself. You make it sound, so lovely.


  16. How nice that at first date you have time to notice the bee, birds, flowers, men…~ happiness or just writer’s observation…who knows..time will show…

  17. It’s always great to feel the first love in NOW..
    and i do agree the Latin names DO NOT do justice
    for the beauty
    of words
    and letters…

  18. Lovely poem, Claudia. The tentative nature of early days in a relationship are always fraught with innuendo, & you’ve captured that so beautifully. I, too, felt anxiety with her. Wonderful. Vivienne, of OneVoicePoetry
    PS do you ever sell your artwork? I’d be very interested in one you did a while back..

  19. A beautiful thoughtful write Claudia and how it brings back memories…
    Love the
    “your top’s a little transparent,
    is this on purpose?” it made me chuckle (and brought back memories too).
    Anna :o]

  20. …aren’t you glad you are a writer, to be able to express such moment, thoughts, feelings with pinpoint accuracy without having to say everything?! Way to go, Claudia…your head and heart want to grasp onto love…how wonderful it is..even if it is fleeting..they will lead you in the right direction ..smiles

  21. this actually brought tears to my eyes… i have been in this place, these places, and you wrote is so well, touching on all the emotions that run through your mind and your heart, and the bit with the bee–another perfect way to illustrate it all.

  22. Stopping to sketch on the way to a date! You are a cool customer indeed,Claudia… And what an open soul this reveals… The stanza about the bee is especially strong, I think… Regards Scott

  23. You’ve made a strong emotional impact and avoided superficial and conventional sentimentality…This is the very best kind of writing.
    Steve K.

  24. I confess to having read your poem four or five times. It made me relive my first date in Year 8 at the tender age of 13 ( I know, too young! 🙂 But I did start young). No bikes, we were on foot. I was more nervous than she was but she let on more than I did. Your poem flows like the way I imagine the waters of the river Seine to flow. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  25. Sweet, sentimental, and brimming with hopeful intentions. I did feel like I was intruding on an intimate moment, but I’m most grateful for the opportunity to witness this tenderness through your eyes.

  26. At times I plan on traversing a favorite trail but when I get on it some unseen force diverts me to the inevitable side trail, waiting to be explored. We wear down the favorite, familiar trails sometimes. A respite, a new day, a new way draws my feet. But I know I will tread my favorite trail again. It is as certain as the flow of a river to the sea. Yet no river I have run into travels in a straight line. I suppose that is the way of all things, great and small.

  27. You remind me of the sweet awkwardness of such occasions, particularly if one has forgotten the mores, or not learnt the new ones. 🙂