Is it possible to love online?

Yes, it is. Written words which come from the heart have the power to touch another heart. Emotions are expressed. Lives thousands of miles apart come into contact, and aspects of those lives become entwined through what is expressed and shared . . .

And as in real life, love can go unrecognised, or one person may make a greater emotional commitment than the other. Or you can merrily go along thinking that you’re just going to be friends, but an attachment you never intended forms anyway. Emotions don’t normally behave rationally; it would be irrational to expect them to.

I wrote these two haiku some months ago, in such a situation.

Invisible

Bit by tiny bit
I gave all my heart to you.
Didn’t you notice?

Kisses

I miss your kisses
and my heart breaks as I see
your kiss on his lips.

I don’t really think of myself as a poet, but I enjoy trying to write haiku—maybe because they’re nice and short so I have a fighting chance of finishing one.

Proper Japanese ones have a traditional structure involving a seasonal reference, a “cutting word” and a contrast of ideas, but it’s popular now simply to take a pattern of seventeen syllables—five then seven then five—and use that to create a short poem in English.

These three are intensely personal. The first expresses my basic belief in respect and in the amazing preciousness of friendship; the other two talk about the times when friendship isn’t quite enough, but is all I have. The heart is not the only part of a person which can feel loneliness.

They all began in the 5-7-5 pattern, but I’ve done some editing since. Interestingly, even seventeen syllables is sometimes too many. It’s best not to be legalistic.

Holiness

The most sacred place
is another human heart:
treat with reverence.

Dreaming

Skin against bare skin
tenderly exploring you
—I wake, alone.

The truth

Hearts need their friendships
but bodies too want love:
mine is alone.

Note

I’ve changed the last line of the second one since I first posted it. I originally didn’t like the repetition of “alone” between the second and third poems. But they’re meant as indivdual poems, so I’ve changed it to the version I most like even though it’s now a bit odd when they’re read together.

And now I’ve amended the first one slightly too . . . And the third. OK, they’re now ALL different . . . !