But how did it all begin? The hearts, the candy, the flowers and, worst of all, the gooey rhymes about roses and violets.

The impulse to romantic love seems universal. And being human, once we have the impulse, we need to express it. Virtually every culture in the world has some sort of festival of romantic love and the tradition goes back for centuries. Predictably, the Islamic countries ban such things, but the ban itself suggests the tradition exists in their culture as well.

There are some edgy parts of the tradition. Not everyone has a valentine, or is necessarily happy about the one they have. St. Valentine was a Christian martyr, and the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre occurred in Chicago (where else?) on (wait for it…..) Valentine’s Day.

Competition and jealousy are more likely to rear their ugly heads on Valentine’s than at any other time, except for the reading of a rich uncle’s will.

(Viola’s Valentine)

The unlikeliest people (lawyers and accountants, for example) fall in love and have agonies of the heart, just like the rest of us. One of Jackson Brown’s great tongue-in-cheek songs was “Lawyers in Love”. And accountants can apparently suffer for love as well. Here’s an image I found on the conference room white board of a regional CPA firm.

(Heart in a Vice)

Not sure I want this person working on my tax return.

Well, I have a Valentine, and I hope you do too. Do something caring and romantic for them, and not just on February 14th

Now here’s what you’ve all been waiting for: this month’s poem. I wrote it for those taking those first risky steps towards having a Valentine.


Caught in bare branches,
the full moon ceased its struggling
and watched.

Between past and future,
we ceased our struggling
and kissed.

With a relieved yes,
the moon rose free
and went about his business.