I Took a Picture of your Name

When I entered the bar room,
there was you;
playing pool;
lining up your eye,
preparing to shoot the cue.
A bluff landlord pulled drinks
while punters gesticulated and sipped,
ticking in time to a spinning world
that receded into  yester-land,
leaving me behind, an island
absorbed in the core
of your stillness.

I had never
set eyes on you before,
you had not yet seen me,
yet I recognised you
and I knew;
I knew
that I loved you.

My romance with George had been a game of amore,
my liaison with Dave an amateur lesson in practical passion.
I rinsed their names from my wall.

A friend whispered


I took a picture of your name
and placed it with the gathered information;
your hair, like a spent storm-cloud’s golden lining,
your eyes a paint-box summer sky,
the shape of your face,
the angle of your slender hip,
the half-apologetic twist of your lip
accompanied by a shrug, after you pocketed the black.
Black denim on your legs, black cotton
covering your tempting back,
black leather belt.

I cannot say I was patient;
my days and nights were filled with images of you,
dreams of our first meeting, and of our future,
I waited, sure that you would find me soon.

each added page of data
was warmed by your presence.
Every hour I spent with you,
every thought inspired by you,
every single part of you
is imprinted,
beneath your name,
on the peaceful gravestone
of my heart.

Judy kindly invited me to write a post using the irresistible title of her poem, so I stayed up late (as usual) to write it.

Click on Judy’s link—-> I Took a Picture of Your Name <—-go on, don’t be shy

©Jane Paterson Basil

33 thoughts on “I Took a Picture of your Name

  1. A love poem! YUCK! Mussy Mussy! I can’t look! I want to look so I can snicker. I can’t look! I’ll peek between my fingers. Oh yuck! So much worse than I thought. How could you, Jane? How could you inflict this on me? You must be a girl. I’m heartbroken now. Girls are immature about these things, you know. Immature! Emotional and immature.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Piss off, Paul. I’ll have you know I haven’t been a girl for ages. I tried it for a few months when I was about 15, and I didn’t like it. I tried wearing lipstick but it ruined the delicate flavour of liver, and boys looked up my skirt and passed out at the sight of my enormous man-bits when I climbed trees.

      Anyway, I bet you were a girl back in the day.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. We know all about it. the only reason we get involved with you lot is so we can laugh at you behind your back while we’re waiting for next week’s gossip magazines to appear on the shelves. If they were published daily we wouldn’t need you.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. I see it all now. I’ve been dancing out of time with the enemy. I know how you make the money to do that, too. I’m showing a great deal of restraint here. I’m simply going to say it’s disgusting. Totally lacking in any kind of ethical or moral compassion. Cold. Heartless. Inhuman. A heinous crime against socie….

              Cut me in on it, will ya?

              Liked by 1 person

    1. I wrote the poem around those two lines – the title and ‘on the gravestone of my heart’ I added the word peaceful because I didn’t want to give the wrong impression; some time ago I wrote a poem about dying (in the mood of Christina Rosetti’s Remember) and several readers thought I was considering suicide.

      Once or twice a year I air my little love story, which preceded my two marriages and was the only significant romance in my life. It took all my strength to turn him way, and II still wait for his return – although he wouldn’t know where to find me – but if he showed up I’d turn him away. Dreams outshine day-to-day reality.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Curious how many great artists have an unrequited love story or two. Henry Miller was notable for that, he had several.

        I say go for it! Exploit it to the hilt. Artists need to be shameless in turning their lives into something beautiful and meaningful.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Unrequited? Nah, I dumped him – had to 🙂

          These days I’m careful how often I take the memories out and polish them – there’s a slight risk of them getting worn away by time 🙂


    1. Pool is played in a lot of pubs, but I expect you’re right – back in the late ’60s it was probably bar billiards. I don’t know the difference. To me it was just a load of men banging at their balls 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Haha. I misread the word literal. Thought you wrote ‘liberal’. It left me flummoxed for a minute 🙂 I don’t know why it started me singing:

          The people’s flag is deepest red,
          It shrouded oft our martyred dead… et al

          Liked by 1 person

  2. This feels so naturally like the way an impactful memory works and worms it’s way into the mind, and silenced heart. The connection to a name and then the stepwise incremental layering. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Jane I’m a bit late finding this one, I enjoyed the picture you painted with your words, and a bit of a sad twist at the end, or was it satire….. And Jane I’ve nominated you for a Song/Lyric Challenge, no pressure it’s up to you. A link coming your way…. From reading a few of your comments lately, maybe a bit tied up anyhow… xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Ivor. The ending wasn’t meant to be sad. Once I believed I would have a partner for life; one who’d be my best friend and confidante, but I made the wrong choices. I have my family, my friends, and my memories of a love that was pure and unsullied.

      Bring it on – I’m always up for a challenge 🙂


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