shot glass
Issue # 4 May 2011
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare


Ruth works in the Student Office at a local secondary school in Dunedin, New Zealand. She enjoys relaxing in the evening playing around with words, especially ones that don't involve I feel sick, I've forgotten my lunch, I'm late. Her poems have appeared in various journals, ezines, and anthologies in NZ, Australia, the UK and US. Ruth edits Poems in the Waiting Room (NZ). An occasional blog may be found at

Ruth Arnison

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Silent lyrics

If I could sing you a love song I'd voice
not one word

but play a tune over your lips with mine,
whisper a chorus of breaths in your ears.

If I could sing you a love song you'd hear
every caress in my silence,

fingertips outlining your face with a hum,
lips crooning over the creases on your brow.

If I could sing you a love song I'd tell you
without sounding a note,

toes entwining in a melody of moments,
fingers gentling in harmony with yours.

If I could sing you a love song I'd murmur
not one bar

but scale your body with a rhythmic touch
signing these lyrics.