Editor’s note: Cynics insist Valentine’s Day is the day men atone for their ignorance by buying sweethearts toasters and scant silky undergarments and women make desperate attempts to put the magic back into relationships by swooning over professional basketball. The rest of the world, however, seems to swallow the softer, gentler notion of the holiday like chocolate. In our view, nothing is sweeter than love (or funnier or lustier) than the love poems written by a few of our favorite regional poets: Wordwoman, Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, Art Goodtimes, David Feela, Kierstin Bridger and Erika Gordon. To introduce the series in the run up to what is a high holy day around the Viebrock household, Telluride Inside… and Out offers its first Valentine, two love poems by Rosemerry.

Rosemerry Trommer is a diehard romantic who sees hearts everywhere, like some people see Madonnas – in rocks, cloud formations, spilled coffee, footprints, even gum flatted on the street. Samples from her collection of “heart” photographs will be used to illustrate the series of Valentine poetry we plan to post throughout the week.

“Each time I find one ( a heart shaped image) it is like a tiny reminder to be available to love in all its
forms–to be open, to be generous, to smile, to be grateful,” Rosemerry explains.

And, if you are looking for a wonderful Valentine’s gift, Rosemerry’s latest book of poetry, #13, “The Less I Hold,” can be found at Between the Covers Bookstore, Telluride.

To Rosemerry, a dollop of cream in soup looks like a heart

To Rosemerry, a dollop of cream in soup looks like a heart

The following poems are from “The Less I Hold.”


How many times I’ve wished to carve our names
in the gray cottonwood trees across the ditch.
As if the writing of things makes them more real.
As if through etching and whittling bark, a love might
gain more permanence, or grow, perhaps, as cottonwoods do,
rapid and full of vigor. Last year, one of the largest trees lost half its
split deep down the core and crashed to our roof.  The remaining
half, a gaping carcass, still pushes out leaves, but stands deformed.

Let us write our names in water, then, for the simple pleasure
writing brings. Let us write them in star patterns, snowdrifts, mud.
Let us tap out our names in the Morse code of blood that thrums
through tender wrists, through open hands that reach
for the other’s grasp. And let’s lose our names and see
what else might catch. Something permanent. Like love, perhaps.


The weight of love,
it is sometimes,
to the ounce,

the weight of a man
as he rests
his body on yours.

Though if there is sorrow
or sickness in his thoughts,
the gravity can flatten you.

And sometimes it’s
heavier than that, the weight,
as if he first hems his pants

with lead and then
finds his way to your arms.
And sometimes it’s heavier

even than that, as if
the very air in his lungs
has millions of pockets,

all of them filled
with dull
gray stones.

And sometimes
the weight of love
is no weight at all,

is less than a blade
of orchard grass,
less than a note

hummed in quiet rooms,
less than a memory,
less than the scent

of lilac or rose,
more like the light
that lands on the hand

and invites it to open,
to hold what never
can be held.

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