Category Archives: romance

The promise of romance


I met a man in Nottingham.
when innocent and young.
He promised sweet romance
with his nickel-plated tongue.

He offered me fine cuisine,
then took me to a skip –
said if I wanted to choose my food
I was welcome to take first dip.

We dined on outdated chicken pies,
followed by stale fruit cake,
leftover cheese, damp crackers,
and mysterious spongy bake.

I said I’d like to see a play –
he vowed he’d find something better.
He walked me three miles into town
to search for street theatre

A drunkard played the castanets
to a tone-deaf woman’s song,
a man with but a single leg
pranced and hopped along.

He asked if I liked dancing –
I smiled in quiet assent.
He took me down a tatty street
and up some steps we went.

In his grimy, litter-strewn bedsit
at the end of a corridor;
we danced until we fell upon
a mattress on the floor.

We went to choose a wedding ring
at the jewellers one night;
I chose a band of platinum
and said it was just right.

The window smashed, I grabbed the ring,
but things did not go well;
the police were round the corner –
that’s why I’m in this cell.

So all young girls in Nottingham
who are innocent and young,
don’t listen to vows of sweet romance
from a man with a plated tongue.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Locked and barred

This week, in the Sandbox Challenge, Calen asks us: What door have you closed in your life, and why? Will you ever open it again?

Embed from Getty Images

I used to dream of love and romance;
of marrying a reasonably handsome man
who would be the perfect companion
in every way. He would never fire me to anger
and would understand and support my many passions.
Together we would fashion our own private paradise
and he would never look twice at some big-busted bimbo
or overpriced impulse buy.
He would fill my days with laughter and smiles
and we’d while away the nights in intimate delight.
We would wish to die in each others arms
and pray there was a heaven,
so we’d never have to part.

But it all went wrong, and I gave up hope.
Now I take up my hammer and a heap of oak.
and even though I closed it six years ago or more,
I place a weighty plank across the door,
grab my tool, and drive the nails straight through.
I fix up a second plank, and then another two,
then check them and find that they’re secure,
but I add a load of screws, just to be sure.
Only now can I guarantee
that no man will ever try to romance me,
because they’ll never fight their way through the door,
and through all those heavy timbers which I pulled from my floor.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Hook, Line and Sinker


image adapted from:

The first time I set eyes on you…. eyes that roamed up and down your body – resting on the tongue of blonde hair as it flopped onto your brow – sliding to your own pale blue, intoxicating, intoxicated eyes – slipping quickly from the bridge of your nose to those quizzical lips – descending your neck – strolling across your shoulders – silently caressing your chest and the hollow in your stomach until they reached your belt ….as you looked up at the monument in the town centre, and accepted your companion’s dare, I was lost.

In your inebriated godliness, you weren’t aware of the assault, having been carried out from a distance of at least twelve feet. You didn’t even look my way. You didn’t see the stranger in the shadows

But how could you not have noticed me? I had swallowed your features, bite by bite, and I carried them home with me. They were the last thing I saw when I went to sleep that night, and the first thing when I awoke the following morning.

The next weekend I went to a club. I was on the dance floor when I looked up and saw you. Exactly as if you had a radar, you were walking towards me, your eyes looking straight into mine, My vision tunnelled. There was just you, and nothing else but a blur around the edges. Maybe people stepped back to let you past. I felt as if they had. You were a few feet away from me when you stopped and gave me that smile; apologetic, questioning and knowing all at once, as you threw back your shoulders and opened your arms, palms turned outwards towards me. ”I’m yours, do what you will with me,” your body implied.

We danced slowly around each other, not touching for a few minutes, and then I was in your arms, with my head against your chest, and we swayed in time, like twining vines in a soft breeze.

I felt complete, as if there was nobody else in the world, and I had need for nobody but you.

I went home, to think of you…. to re-live every sensation – to feel the cradle of your strong arms around my body – to shiver with head-tingling delight at the memory of the breeze of your breath against my hair – to feel the beat of my heart echoing yours – always – every moment I was away from you… knowing that I had found my heart’s companion, and nothing would ever tear us apart.

Except your wife. I admit, we didn’t talk a lot, being caught up in the moment as we were, but it would have been helpful for you to have mentioned her, at least in passing.

I had puzzled over the apologetic aspect of your smile. Now I understood.

© Jane Paterson Basil

Everlasting Flower

A little bit of romance is my choice for today’s Writing 201 Poetry assignment. It’s an ode about a valuable item tucked away in a drawer, with apostrophe garnish.


forty years have flown since I devotedly fixed it
to the wall by my bed,
near where my head rested
its physical form has long since crumbled
but tucked in a drawer
at the back of my brain

far away from the everyday forefront clutter
still lives that
rose in its organic glory

cupping our story within its proud petals
which whisper
within me when, in the night
insecurities imprison me, impinge on my sanity
and knowledge
of evil keeps me awake

I did not forsake you my rose of devotion
though our love was outlawed
I’ve been ever true

and though to eternity we shall be parted
and never again
may I see your face
all these long years our love everlasting
has cradled me safely
within its embrace

© Jane Paterson Basil