ADRIFT (by Deidre Cartmill)

I sniff the duvet as I pull it close
and wrap my arms around your memory

I lie in the smell of your aftershave.
Sweat drips off the sheets onto my skin.

One black sock, discarded by the bed
rolls under to hide with the bogeyman.

I sniff the duvet as I pull it close
and wrap my arms around your memory.

I wonder what phantoms you cling to –
my bruised lips skimming your stubbled cheek

the imprint of fingers on your pulsing
my photograph pinned above your desk

with the other fantasy images.
As I lie in the warmth of your absence

lulled by illusions of intimacy
I pull the memories close and drift back to sleep.


THE TRIPLE FOOL (by John Donne)

“I am two fools, I know—
For loving, and for saying so
In whining poetry”

John Donne’s handwritten draft of his great poem “The Triple Fool.” Via the Huntington Library, San Marino, CA.

I am two fools, I know—
For loving, and for saying so
In whining poetry;
But where’s that wiseman that would not be I,
If she would not deny?
Then, as th’ earths inward narrow crooked lanes
Do purge sea waters fretful salt away,
I thought, if I could draw my pains
Through rhymes vexation, I should them allay.
Grief brought to numbers cannot be so fierce,
For he tames it that fetters it in verse.

But when I have done so,
Some man, his art and voice to show,
Doth set and sing my pain,
And, by delighting many, frees again
Grief, which verse did restrain.
To Love and Grief tribute of verse belongs,
But not of such as pleases when ’tis read;
Both are increased by such songs,
For both their triumphs so are published;
And I, which was two fooles, do so grow three;
Who are a little wise, the best fools be.


She dared me to write a poem…
it was after she had begged me
to drink her enchantment,
slake my thirst on camber and curve.

An irresistible challenge haunted me
as I merged with her warm bouquet,
passion turned to inspiration,
compelling memory to my writing hand –

Yes, everyone would know
lurking below
that bashful demeanor and
girlish Christian blushing,
was a woman the Grand Inquisitor
would have burned at the stake.

Smoldering beneath the demure smile,
behind eyes peering through halo lenses
were embers of unlit erotica,
poetry awaiting a spark
to ignite covert sensuality,

Fire lurking in iris and voice,
angel tinder, purring moans
wild and soft as solar whispers.

Beast caged by creed and pedigree
unleashed into our consensual jungle;
clasp undone, manacles snapped like icicles,
loosing an avalanche of tresses
which tumbled down shoulders and
over breasts delicately cupped,
kneaded tenderly under an illicit smile,
taut nipples proffered selfishly.

I rose to her wicked glance
and thanked God for a woman
who knew the mystery
of divine naughtiness.


I want to kiss the words from your mouth
my poet,
pierce the crease of imagination
my artist,
slip past timid inhibition, releasing
through each famished pore
as much, or more
as I empty this brush over and over,
quickly, rhythm and stroke.

Squeeze me, mold me –
slender fingers long with lust
hold me.

I will ooze through your eyes and
over nipples polished slick,
rich and thick with the scent of warm clay,
oils congealing on neck and chin.

Lift your slender arms again,
my easel,
spread your fingers,
hold my chest, a taut canvas,
press your pink into my skin,
and when we are done,
I will hang limp, lifeless, still
in some gallery.

But soon, desire wakens…

I want to kiss the words from your mouth
my poet,