Life is full

Only when I live it with you.

Love is real

Only when I behold it in your eyes.

Wine intoxicates

Only when I taste it on your lips.

Fire becomes pleasure

Only when I touch it with you.

Cold begets fire

Only when you’re here with me:

When wafts of love begin to soar,

Whispering my endless love for you.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

A message that accompanied a hand-made card made by me on St. Valentine's Day 1995 for a very special person dear to me during my days as a student in University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. She helped me bear a lot of the weight on my shoulders.

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"Valiant Time"

by Jeph Johnson

The barbs only hurt

When I pry them from my heart
Or when Cupid's aim missfires
On my lover with his dart
Mid-February shivers
To find my Valentine
It has the arsenal of arrows
In his quiver in a bind
They're flung with frantic fury
Nearly everywhere I go
Yet few fulfill their duty
When he sports a crooked bow
One finally hits the center
Of the bullseye in my brain
I saunter over hoping
To her heart he's done the same
Then find out way too quickly
Yet still not soon enough
How smooth and softened skin
Resists his arrows like it's tough
The darts are nearly painless
And kept in sharps containers
While the caustic arrow's anecdote
Is bottled up for later
When the parade of lovely ladies
Will come marching through my life
Girlfriends, partners, lovers,
One night stands and even wives
Ya see Cupid's bow is careless,
It won't do what it should
Tries to make me Casanova,
But I feel like Robin Hood
So I draw that bow myself
Take aim at my own bliss
It always hits the target
For in my mind I never miss

Author's Notes/Comments: 


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Blue Valentine (version 2)

This girl man shes so beautiful she rips me apart // but dats wen she saw my inside & fell in love with my heart // She often wondered why I had a heart of silver & blue // i told her baby its because i never meet you // my heart has been beating slowly to the rhythm of life // soft & restless getting quieter each night // with no love my heart has suffered through an iceage // & all the cold winds just made it hard for me to engage // but when it came to you none of that seemed to matter // cuz when it came to you all this ice began to shatter // in the past my heart would only see blue // but as it suddenly grew that's when I suddenly knew // you was the one // my beautiful jewel // now my heart sees nothing but love // & dam u don't know how much I thank the lord up above // I thank him for every single day I have u // cuz my heart can now see this beautiful view // just kno I'm ur valentine // ur blue valentine // our love will continue to live on in every lifetime // beyond & forever our love is permanent overtime // & it will never end as long as I'm alive // this is coming from my heart baby // ur forever valentine


Author's Notes/Comments: 

This is my 2nd version of blue valentine, my first one is in poems.

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Blue Valentine (version 1)

This girl man shes so beautiful she rips me apart // but dats wen she saw my inside & fell in love with my heart // She often wondered why I had a heart of silver & blue // i told her baby its because it's filled with emotions of you // all the love is just so much to endure // it's clogging my heart // but that // I choose to ignore // cuz baby girl i just love you so ever more // yea im your valentine // your blue valentine // i hope our love will last forever both in space & time // & with our love entwined & our hearts aligned let's make love on this beach beneath the moonshine // lets show the world what true love really is down by the shoreline // baby girl just know that ur name is always written in my heart line // & as long as I'm with you my heart will always be blue cuz when it comes to you my love will always stay true // & as you open ur eyes and awaken to the sunshine // just know I will be there besides u // ur forever valentine <3


Author's Notes/Comments: 

I wrote this poem on valentines day ; i wrote 2 versions to it, this is part 1. let me know what you think.

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by Jeph Johnson


A Valentine
in lieu of mine
was published in the paper
and though I wrote
a heart-felt note
they must have found it safer
to print instead
the words she said
and, for once, can guarantee...
as only she could
praising singlehood:
"Love and Kisses from Me to Me"

Author's Notes/Comments: 

for Twilla, 2002


On Friday January 25, less than four hours after I found out the woman I had given all of my love to didn't want to continue ANY sort of relationship with me, I submitted, via email, a Valentine to the Portland Mercury weekly entertainment newspaper.


My intent was to let her know I missed her dearly but also honor her by letting her know that she'd raised the bar for me, in a sense.  In order to be published it needed to be received before February 3 and was to be limited to 30 lines. It was free.


Here's what I wrote:


Subject: Valentine
From: Date: Fri, Jan 25, 2002, 5:23am
Subject: Valentine


Thank you, for now the perfect woman in my mind's eye has a new set of standards to aspire.
I do miss being "frineds" but friends even more. Jeph

(Note the word count- 30 words)


"Frineds" refers to what we were calling our relationship. Friends first, but a variation..a misspelling. Sort of "more than friends." It was just one of those silly things people who like each other do.


Weeks past. We never saw each other. No talking. I even put her pictures away. No attempt at reconciliation in any way. I sent apologies that fell on deaf ears.  I actually wondered if she'd forgotten completely about me,
Then, on Wednesday February 6 the Mercury was published and I found myself rifling through the paper to make sure it was printed. Twilla! Twilla! Twilla! Where's her name??? ...I kept searching... Finally I saw it, in all its glory...It was not what I was expecting...


Twilla, You are the best single woman I know. How could you bare to write your own Valentine amongst the lovers of the world? Alas, you must let the world know what a rockin' gal you are. so love and kisses from me to me. Happy Valentines day.

(Note the word count- 48 words)


My Valentine somehow never got published. It's really ironic how she would have, beyond a doubt, seen MY Valentine had it been published, since she would have been looking for the one she wrote. (To use her word) Alas! it was not to be. Of course, by not publishing my Valentine, at least a poem was inspired...

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