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Original Poem: "Love Among the Relics: A Suite of Eight Movements" with Commentaries

Updated on October 2, 2018
Maya Shedd Temple profile image

Writing poetry became my major composing activity circa 1962, & Mr. Malcolm Sedam's creative writing class in 1963-64 deepened my interest.

Relics of the Cold War


Robert Browning's "Love Among the Ruins"

O heart! oh blood that freezes, blood that burns!
Earth's returns
For whole centuries of folly, noise and sin!

Poems with Commentaries

Immediately following each poem appears a brief commentary. These commentaries are raw reactions to the poems and not intended to elucidate each poem's content. That puzzling act must remain as individual as any reaction to any poem always is.

I. A Father's Love

Twisted vines hem him along
A sun ball shimmers on the tarn
The hill globs the valley's tongue
Morning bends over the barn

A ribbon of light cuts through the dark
The bridge hitches the road
And now he hears the red dog bark
And readies his heavy load

After spring fuses the lilac bushes
And all sweet love is pining
He'll breathe a sigh that never pushes
The twisted veil from vining

Then night will gather him in her arms
While the red dog will be straying
Over the bridge that fastens the charms
That fetch the soul to praying

Commentary: Fathers and daughters often go together like oil and water. A relationship of complete harmony would likely disturb the world, so the speaker of this poem will leave her little taste of vinegar and move on.

II. A Mother's Love

Rosemary, basil, sage
Tomatoes growing on the vine
Thyme in her purple blooms
Fat, round mushrooms

Creatures gather in the coven
Black eyes light the night
Stirring the air with zest
Pulling the bread from the oven

Beating the drum, swirling the broom
Blue veil sweeping the living room
Standing stone still before the clock
Listening to the cradle knock

She draws your heart across her mood
Listening for your silent nod
She thirsts to be well understood
Before the day of burning sod

They cannot give her
What they do not have
As their tortured souls
Tout the grave

Commentary: Pleasing one's mother remains one of the most bittersweet challenges of all time. Loving the mother with all one's heart is not enough, for the mother or the daughter. Pray together to stay together even beyond death.

III. A Brother's Love

He failed to appear
But I feel I know his anguish
I have seen it in the eyes
Of many men and boys

I think I know his confusion
As clearly as my own
But he never bullied me
And I love him for that

Commentary: For the girl who did not grow up with a brother, that love will always remain elusive. Even a brother-in-law cannot substitute. Let go what you don't know, let go, let go . . .

IV. A Sister's Love

Cotton candy at the fair
Bubbles popping here & there
Little princess decked in pink
Unicorn bobbing in the drink
Never Never Land on the moon
Raindrops shelling lost pontoon
Donkey honking up the train
Scarecrow yellow-bricking brain

Commentary: The love of a true sister is like cool water on a blistering-hot day, and a sister who truly loves you will not attempt to belittle you, mock you, and tarnish your reputation. The sister who does these things will cut off your head so she will appear taller.

V. A Son’s Love

A chicken & an egg go for a walk
Two chickens return
& split on separate ways

The moon spies on the earth
For the sun who sends reports
To the eye of God

The tree of life stands on the hill
Birds tweet songs in the branches
Then lift & scatter across blue worlds

Day & night the marbles roll
Respecting gravity's need
To hold tight to things

Grace & beauty tangle
As the wind lashes ashes
From the urn of hope

The storm subsides
Mothers fade
& animals flee

Commentary: The love of a son should be quiet as a feather dropping on cotton, as strong as a redwood standing in a Redwood Forest, as constant as the moon circling the sun, and as true as the river seeking the ocean.

VI. A Daughter’s Love

As a calf loves a horse
As a zipper loves a button
As rain loves an umbrella
As a nose loves an ear
As a spider loves a cat
As a shoe loves an earring
As a tooth loves a diamond
As snow loves a tree
As a marble loves a bird
Maybe love's too strong a word

Commentary: Seriously, she would love you if she could find her heart. She would understand you if she could sense her soul. She will flutter with pride not knowing what she will not bother to learn.

VII. A Blank Page’s Love

Yes, dear , you would not understand—
But that’s not necessary. Besides,
I don’t understand either.

But here we are. And you know not why—
Lest I sound arrogant, I’ll just say,
Neither do I.

Your blankness fills my mind
With thoughts of melancholy
And fairy-dancing ethereal glumness.

O, how your brother likes to bolshevise.
But that’s neither here nor there,
Request an answer

That you have already
Decided is pure crap.
Hee, hee, hee, hee, hee.

O, wait—shee, shee, shee, shee, shee!
Just a retro response
To a distraction.

I know the blank page
Is luring me to blaspheme
And cauterize thoughts

That have been roaming
The ether for centuries—
Go, go, go, girl

You know the fingers
Of joy . . .

Commentary: A writer possesses a thousand faces and a thousand voices, and sometimes she cannot see or hear any of them. But the love of the page will bank off a myriad cups of joy.

VIII. God’s Love

I’m not a good daughter
Mommy and Daddy could attest to that—
But God loves me

I’m not a good sister
My sister wholeheartedly agrees—
But God loves me

I’m not a good niece
My aunts and uncles would say that’s so—
But God loves me

I’m not a good cousin
My cousins would not sing my praises—
But God loves me

I’m not a good mother
My children gladly confirm—
But God loves me

I’m not a good grandmother
My grandchildren can back that up—
But God loves me

I’m not a good aunt
My nieces can corroborate—
But God loves me

I’m not a good friend—
But God loves me

Commentary: I am a soul, I am here, and God loves me.

At SRF Lake Shrine Windmill Chapel


Life Sketch of Linda Sue Grimes

The following original poem captures the tranquility of my favorite meditation place in Los Angeles, California, the Windmill Chapel at Self-Realization Fellowship's Lake Shrine.

The Windmill Chapel

In the temple of silence
By the lake, we sit
In stillness, meditating
In divine Bliss.

Returning to our daily minds,
We walk out into the sunshine,
And the flowers greet us.

The Literary Life

Born Linda Sue Richardson on January 7, 1946, to Bert and Helen Richardson in Richmond, Indiana, Linda Sue grew up about eight miles south of Richmond in a rustic setting near the Ohio border.

After graduating from Centerville Senior High School in Centerville, Indiana, in 1964, Linda Sue Grimes completed her baccalaureate degree with a major in German at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, in 1967. She married Ronald Grimes on March 10, 1973.

As a writer, Grimes focuses on poetry, short fiction, politics, spirituality, and vegan/vegetarian cooking, which results in her original veggie recipes.

Literary Studies

Although music was her first love, Grimes considers herself primarily a literary specialist as she creates her own poetry, studies the poetry and literary arts of classic writers, and writes commentaries about classic poems.

However, Grimes does continue to express her love of music by writing her own original songs, which she records, accompanying herself on guitar or keyboard. She shares her musical compositions at SOUNDCLOUD.

After completing the PhD degree in British, American, and World Literature with a cognate in Rhetoric/Composition at Ball State University in 1987, Grimes taught English composition in the English Department at BSU as a contractual assistant professor from 1987 until 1999.

Publishing History

Grimes has published poems in many literary journals, including Sonoma Mandala, Rattle, and The Bellingham Review. She has published three books of poems: Singing in the Silence, Command Performance, and Turtle Woman & Other Poems, and a book of fables titled Jiggery-Jee's Eden Valley Stories.

Grimes published her first cookbook in the spring of 2013, titled The Rustic Veggie-Table: 100 Vegan Recipes. She is working on a second cookbook and her fourth book of poems.

Currently, at Owlcation, Grimes (Maya Shedd Temple) posts her poetry commentaries. On LetterPile, she shares her creative writing of poems and short fiction, along with prose commentaries on each piece. She posts recipes resulting from her experimental cooking of vegan/vegetarian dishes. on Delishably. She posts her politically focused pieces at Soapboxie, and her commentaries focusing on music at Spinditty. Pieces on the writing process appear at Hobbylark.


Linda Sue Grimes has been a devotee of Paramahansa Yogananda and a member of his organization, Self-Realization Fellowship, since 1978. A Kriyaban since 1979, she has completed the four Kriya Initiations, and she continues to study the teachings and practice the yoga techniques as taught by the great spiritual leader, who is considered to be the "Father of Yoga in the West."

Grimes practices the chants taught by the guru accompanying herself on the harmonium. She serves at her local SRF Meditation Group as one of the chant leaders.

Online Literary Presence

In addition to the contributions of her literary works to Owlcation, LetterPile, and SOUNDCLOUD, Grimes also curates her original creative literary pieces at her literary home, Maya Shedd Temple, on Medium, where she features her creative writing without commentaries. Grimes also maintains an additional online presence on Facebook and Twitter.

© 2017 Linda Sue Grimes


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