Valentine’s Gift
By Gregory Barker

I crowd surf on top of my adrenaline,
Endorphins pouring, heart beating wildly.
I survey the crowd with a ninja-like gaze
Hoping that I won’t get lost in the haze
Of the masses that sit in the crossroads today.
Like the mighty hunter, I wait for my prey.

Then, off in the distance, the lone zebra stands
With beautiful eyes and heartwarming hands
She jumps on the stage and reads pure poetry
My heart is enraptured in outstanding beauty.

Bobbie Gross stands onstage with a talent unvaried,
But sadly, the ring indicates that she’s married.
That’s one down, but six more ladies to go.
Who would be mine? That, I wish I could know.

Elena Van Horn, the next to perform,
Shares her message, so bright, cool, and warm.
She cleverly covers her subjects until,
Live volcanoes and ashes, the message distils
And my mind is left pondering just as my soul
Finds a sweetness and peace, and goes for a stroll.

I am brought back to myself by the next poet’s turn,
With a shock and a bound- my world is upturned
With tasty good imagery by friendly Melissa.
If I were Hugh Jackman, I’d play with charisma
The part of faithful listener, too.
In fact, that’s probably all I would do.

Gratefully, next another sweet flower
Arises to give us the tales of the hour.
Anna May is her name and I want to proclaim
That her words in her poems set language aflame.
Though she has a boyfriend whose name must be Vincent,
Her poetry still is always so brilliant.

The fifth of my seven fair ladies arises:
Jackie Argyle- always full of surprises.
Her words are oozing with love and romance;
Romance, and then just a little more romance.
She leaves me with just one question in hand-
… Could I be that 90s man?
No moustache here, so I guess not today.
And my name’s not Stephen anyway.

The next on the stage shares her heart’s deepest splendor
In words that would beat any drab Hallmark vendor.
Syndey Adams is her name and 10 is her number,
Her poetry pure, rare, and unencumbered.

Elise Angerbauer, the sweetheart of stage
Then takes her place as she reads from her page
About groundhogs and men in hats. Other sweet things
Like a sonnet with bacon flies and it rings
In my heart like the feeling of spring after winter.
When she leaves the stage, my heart feels a splinter.

How dearly I love these, my fine poet friends!
With every good word, my lone heart ascends
Into vistas unscalable, filled with emotion.
My soul plunges forward in deepened commotion
By beauty unmatched, pure and commanding
Ever outgrowing, ever expanding
With charity sweet and love everlasting.
It’s Valentine’s Day, and I’m at Last Poet Standing.

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