Love Handles ~Love in ten lines

I am not one for blog challenges. I undertake very few ( too lazy, I am 😉 ). But what’s a girl to do when  the lovely blogger you persuaded to find a special totem pole in Oregon, nudges invites you to get busy on the ‘Love in Ten Lines ‘ challenge.  Well, not much you can do, except hop to, and fall in line.

Here are the rules for the challenge

  • Write about love using only 10 lines.
  • Use the word love in every line.
  • Each line can only be 4 words long.
  • Nominate others who are up for the challenge.
  • Let them know about the challenge.
  • Title the post:  Love in Ten Lines
  • Include a quote about love ( this can be your own)
  • You may write in any language

And here , Britt Skrabanek,  is Gallivanta’s response to your gauntlet. It’s a photo poem ( phoem?) , called Love Handles.

When you choose love

When you choose love

or love chooses you

or love chooses you,


Remember love has handles

Remember love has handles,


for love needs holding.

for love needs holding.

Love is not froth
on the chai. Love

is earthy, love is

is earthy, love is

the china cup, love
is the pot, love


pours the tea; love

pours the tea; love.


Yesterday, I spent some time at the Canterbury Province Field of Remembrance in Cranmer Square, where our Anzac Day will be commemorated on April 25th.  In the Field are 632 simple, white crosses, one for each man and woman from our region, who was a  casualty of war in 1914-1915.

Canterbury Province Field of Remembrance, Cranmer Square, 2015

Canterbury Province Field of Remembrance, Cranmer Square, 2015

As I walked around the rows, I thought of the unprecedented grief which sat at family tables that year. The cup not used, the plate not laid, the tea not poured, the meal not cooked, the empty chair, the hand not there to tousle a child’s hair….. there was grief; there was love with nowhere to go*.

Grief has softened with the years, and love has found a place again. Some of that love is in these crosses, all with handles;  most not known to us personally, but handles which we can whisper quietly, and hold faithfully  in our collective soul.

For those of you reading in New Zealand, you will know  there are many ways in which we are being encouraged to remember the centenary of the Gallipoli landings. One way which I have found meaningful is to place a virtual poppy on my relatives listed in the Auckland War Memorial  Cenotaph Online Database.  Perhaps that is something you would like to do for your family, if you have not already done so.

*  “grief is just love with nowhere to go” ; a saying I read this week in an interview with Cambridge author, Helen Macdonald. It is my love quote for Love in Ten Lines.

© silkannthreades


172 thoughts on “Love Handles ~Love in ten lines

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you Juliet. I like your use of the word ‘duet’. There must be music for this poem somewhere. Who will write it, I wonder?

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Letizia, you make me smile. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have the letters TP added after one’s name? Not PhD or MA but TP (True Poet), World University. 🙂

  1. Kate Johnston

    Wonderful poem. Love and the pouring of it from one to another. That is one way “love handles” can be a positive thing. 🙂

    I don’t know anything about Anzac Day, but that picture of all those crosses is chilling, yet lovely at the same time. “Grief is love with nowhere to go” – wow.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      It’s a powerful saying, isn’t it?
      Part of the Anzac remembrance always includes a quote from Ataturk’s (Mustafa Kemal) tribute to the Anzacs killed at Gallipoli. “Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives … You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours … You, the mothers who sent their sons from faraway countries, wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.” This long standing generosity of Turkey towards a former enemy gives us somewhere to place our grief each year.

      1. Kate Johnston

        I love that quote. I love how peace can be found, even after terrible tragedy. The reaching out of one culture or country to another always brings tears to my eyes because I know how easy it is for many people to not be willing to find peace.

        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Peace can be found but it requires statesmanship to lead it. Unfortunately my great grandparents didn’t live long enough to see this tribute. I hope it would have comforted them in the loss of their son at Gallipoli.

  2. pleisbilongtumi

    Beautiful written, Gallivanta. You always give a priceless gift to every one of the readers. I Love your poem and the words that say the grief has soften with years is so factual, the connection to a remembrance that is one of something we must do. Thank you!

  3. Cynthia Reyes

    Such a tender and moving post, all in one.
    You have the gift of being able to make the mundane glorious and of wrapping in the big stuff with the little in powerful ways.
    I love your phoem.

  4. restlessjo

    But when you do take on a challenge you do it such justice, Ann. The overwhelming response is fully justified. Wishing you peaceful happy times ahead. 🙂

  5. Andrea Stephenson

    This is beautiful Gallivanta – I love the creative way you used the photos to illustrate the poem and your unusual approach to writing about love. Then to show what that means in the real world, with the families with the cup unused and the plate unlaid. Poignant and lovely.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you Andrea. I have been thinking a lot about family history lately, and the small items our loved ones leave behind for us to handle and touch, and to connect us. Did you realize it is our Samhain/Halloween in the Southern Hemisphere; a time to remember the departed. 🙂


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