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The Rhyme Maker

S. H. Bass
b. 1956

Theme:   Love and Romance

Special Rhyme List:  Copyrighted poetry

more S. H. Bass at
A List
A Sonnet Sequence

A Wine Poem

An Altar Boy's Lament

Buy With Bread . . . Sell With Cheese
From The Cellar


My New Trinity
Ode To White Zinfandel
Our Vintage Years
Red Wine and Black Coffee
Somewhere In The Wine

The Discovery
The Poet's Wine (a prose poem)
What Can Be Said About Both Wine And Poetry

Wine is . . .
Wine Knows No Winter
Wine, Thy Name Is Woman

Translations into English Verse:
Hymn To Beauty by Charles Baudelaire
The Wine Of Lovers by Charles Baudelaire
The Wine Of The Murderer by Charles Baudelaire
The Wine Of The Rag-Pickers by Charles Baudelaire
The Wine Of The Solitary by Charles Baudelaire
Over the past year I've given up by Cecci Angiolieri
Three Clusters Of Grapes by Giovanni Pascoli

Stephen H. Bass On The Web:

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Stephen H. Bass at AMAZON

  by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  with an introduction and notes by Stephen H. Bass

  Plus Sonnets from the Porte-Cochère
   by S. H. Bass


Stop Button Clutter sign.
Spilt Wine
S. H. Bass (b. 1956), American writer/poet

A twirl in the light.
Your legs,
long and strong,
excited me.
No real significance,
I know.
Just a tease,
a show of strength,
I always check the legs.

I sniffed you in my canine way.
Slightly off, but promising.
More down-time needed.
In your cellar, nursing your soul.
More down-time needed.
I should have let you breathe.

A sip, pressing against the lips
Seeking out my tongue.
A hint of your luscious fruit.
A touch of that nuttiness that I adore.
The allure of a depth that is to be –
I should have let you breathe.

I held you by the base of you
                        the extension of you
                        the furthest point from you.
Your hand in mine,
as in a minuet.
I wanted more . . .

I wanted to warm you
With my touch.
To slip my fingers
Around your bowl-shaped glass
But you fell away . . .
I tried to catch you, but
You fell further and faster
With each failed grasp.
Further and faster
To the floor
Out the door
I should have let you breathe.

Now all I have is the stain of you,
Faded, but still there - always there.
There by the light where I first saw you . . .
There with each sip of wine that’s not you . . .
There by the door that you ran through . . .
I should have let you breathe

Cry over spilt milk?
Any-cow-will-do milk?

But wine? Spilt wine?
One-of-a-kind Wine?

Cry I can.
Cry I must.
For as long as I can breathe.

from Bottled Poetry: Verses From The Vine, edited by Stephen H. Bass (Robinsonville, MS: Spilt Wine Publishing Co., 2013).  © 2013 Stephen H. Bass. All rights reserved.  Posted at with the permission of Stephen H. Bass.

S. H. Bass (b. 1956):  Stephen H. Bass is an American writer/poet.  The webmaster of, his  fingers are typing these words.  He will now switch to the first person - singular.

To call myself a “writer” is a heralding of avocation rather than occupation, although wielding a creative “pen in hand” has always been an ancillary part of my earning a living. While creating plans and content for the various communications needs of a business entity is not exactly the stuff of the creative writer, the challenges of simplifying the complex, enlivening the mundane, celebrating the everyday . . . this is the “stuff” of all successful communications – from the sonnet to the business memorandum.

The stereotype of the struggling young artist “waiting tables” as he plugs away at his craft in his “off-hours”, is a template that lays over my life quite nicely (if not snuggly) - for some thirty-six years now. The tables I currently wait upon are covered with green felt rather than a checkered tabled cloth, my current occupation being that of a floor supervisor in the table games department of a casino.   Other tables I have “waited on” include the retail sales counter, the salesman’s cubbyhole, and the manager’s desk - with an extended period as a manager of a local wine shop.  As for the “struggling young artist” title:  I am still “struggling”, along with the rest of middle-class America.  I feel young!  I am, however, old enough to realize that “artist” is a title best conveyed upon one rather than claimed for oneself. 

I have some things to say:  some thoughts to share, some stories to tell - you should be hearing from me.  is but a whisper, a “Psst - hey buddy . . . .” from a darkened alleyway. 
- S. H. Bass   


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