“O Absalom”

Steve Isaak (link on blog roll to the right on this blog) invited me to check out a new poetry site:  One Shot Wednesdays….for poetry lovers.  It’s a linking exchange of poetry and something new.  I’m all for something new in poetry, even if the poetry is something old.

Link:    http://oneshotpoetry.blogspot.com/

Lady Nyo

O ABSALOM

O Absalom,

Ensnared by long hair in the

Boughs of an oak,

Pierced through the heart three times–

Yet your nature was only to please.

I,

Pulled into mysteries

So abandoned by love

Now given over to lust

Charged with stolen rapture

Dizzy as a drunken dervish-

One hand upward to Heaven

One hand spilling to Earth

Skirts stiffened with sins hard as stone

Corrupted over a life time and now–

Flayed on an unending mandala.

Mystery of Life,

Unstoppable desire,

O beautiful Absalom,

We float upon a divine river

Entangled in the reeds of human wanting.

This is our nature,

This our calling while

Flesh answers flesh.

What quarter be given when the heart is

Overwhelmed by passions excess?

Lie still–

Let the waters cleanse our loins,

Mud of the banks soothe our wounds,

Our blood mingle with the floating grasses,

Our hearts sink beneath the surface.

Let the rivers of Babylon

Carry us away.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2010


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52 Responses to ““O Absalom””

  1. brian Says:

    sorry followed your name link and left you a comment on your other space…one shot opens at 5 pm EST on tuesday and closes on thursday morning. a new one is up each week…the next on is tonight…if you ever need to reach one of us drop by the about us page…or email me back…hope to see you there…

    b

    Like

  2. moondustwriter Says:

    Hi- i’m moondustwriter and I’m with One Shot poetry
    we would love to have you join us
    try this: One Tuesday Eve 5pm PST
    go to http;//oneshotpoetry.blogspot.com
    our most recent McLinky should come up (it only stays up for about 40 hours thats why when you tried to link up it failed.)

    I like your Ode to Absalom such a sad story for such a promising son of a king.

    If you get stuck please contact me moondustwriter@gmail.com we also have an email but I will be on it faster and can assist you. Hope to see you on Wednesday (Tuesday night)

    Like

  3. brian Says:

    wow…the verse that starts with this is our nature is tight…think you will fit right in at one shot…see you in a bit…

    Like

  4. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you! I am so surprised and delighted with the comments and the company!
    I would love to join, and now that people have contacted me….I will!

    I love to read OTHERS poetry! LOL!….I get bored with my own. Not really, but I find great ideas and inspiration in other poetry!

    Thank you so much for your comment.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  5. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you so much! I will go to that site and pony up. This is such a blessing right now because I have needed to be amongst the company of other poets….badly!

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  6. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you so much, Brian. I’ll certainly try to follow the directions and get to the place where it does good.

    Thank you again. I am so glad to be in contact with other poets. Makes me smile.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  7. moondustwriter Says:

    I am so glad you figured it out. You are welcome with open arms. I hope you enjoy and feel part of this poetry world.

    Again I am struck by the words in this piece – reminds me of the Lady of Shalotte

    Nice to meet you

    Moondustwriter

    Like

  8. Timoteo Says:

    “THIS is our nature…”
    Admire the acknowledgment, the giving in to our lusty nature…seems so NATURAL!

    Like

  9. ladynyo Says:

    LOL! And nice to meet you!

    I was bitchin’ to Steve Isaak, a dear friend and a fabulous poet…about not being able to get in, and your collective emails came in and shone a light here. Thank you again.

    It’s been probably years since I read “Lady of Shallot” and I should look her up again. Someone else said that when they first read this poem. Obviously I’m missing something.

    I am so happy because I have been functioning in a vacuum here. The blog is fine but I think poets need the surroundings and head knocks of other poets. We are a tribe I believe….lol!

    I think we all develop our styles that incorporate not only life experiences, but a certain something that bespeaks our visions and the way we create something. I’ve only been writing poetry for about 4 years, and it is new to me and at times ‘off’. I’ve done a lot of tanka, cinquain, choka, haiku, and the hated sonnets…. but tanka and freeverse remain my favorite forms.

    Again, thank you, Moondustwriter for the help and the welcome. I can’t wait to read other poetry on your site tomorrow. What I read is really impressive. Watch out for Steve Isaak, though….he is a madman! He’s funny and one of the most creative poets I know….and I know a lot of them folk.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  10. Caribbean Fool Says:

    Saw your link on 1SW and wanted to check out your poem. Must say I really enjoyed your word choice and the pace/tempo of the poem. There is a lot of bold imagery; I always appreciate that. Think my favorite lines were

    “Charged with stolen rapture
    Dizzy as a drunken dervish-
    One hand upward to Heaven
    One hand spilling to Earth”

    Something about that picture that catches ears and minds. Thanks for posting!

    crb.

    Like

  11. dustus Says:

    Your poem evokes feeling and mystery through beautiful lines and allusion. Welcome to One Shot!

    Like

  12. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you! It was a very impassioned poem. Though I know nuthin’ about the Bible. Read the story somewhere and found that it was from the Bible…(David and his son.)

    I am old enough to remember Linda Ronstadt from the 60’s and she had a song that had the words: “Let the rivers of Babylon carry us away”. I couldn’t get it out of my head for 40 years….LOL!…and decided that this poem actually was written around those words…..

    I have been wondering, though….some of my poetry….has erotica in it. Not pornographic, but definitely erotica. Would that be allowed on this poetry site?

    Just askin’.

    Like

  13. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you! I am a very new poet…only of a duration of 4 years or so…but I have been a novelist since 1990. Have a couple of books to publish, but damn…novels are a bag of snakes….I would rather write poetry!

    I am publishing a third book through Lulu.com soon….it’s a totally poetry venture…”White Cranes of Heaven” with some paintings that are (mostly) appropriate to the seasonal theme….I hope.

    I am also a belly dance teacher….so I pull a lot from that life. I find that a little Hyperarousal Trance goes a long distance in writing poetry! At least I hope so….

    Thank you so much for your comments.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  14. Gay Cannon Says:

    What a gorgeous poem! I loved these lines “Skirts stiffened with sins hard as stone/ Corrupted over a life time and now–/Flayed on an unending mandala.” Such great imagery and allusion. Quite elegant and well done. Thank you, Gay @beachanny

    Like

  15. ladynyo Says:

    Thank YOU for your comment. I think rhythm is very important in poetry…and it’s sometimes hit and miss. Bending the words to this is hard work!

    I struggle with metaphor a lot, but I think it’s important in western poetry. Of course, it’s death in Japanese poetry from what I am told. LOL!

    I’m really excited to read the poetry on OneSpot….it’s a kick to read stuff that is different and more advanced.

    Thank you so much for visiting this blog. I have a lot of my poetry up here….well…some. Some from the new- to- be-book: “White Cranes of Heaven”…

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  16. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you! This is a poem you either love or hate! LOL!

    I remember reading it to a Catholic Nun last year. She was so disturbed by the words she looked like she was trying to find a way out of the room. At the end she said: “Beautiful!!”…

    LOL!…I’ve known her for 20 years and it was a chancy thing to read her this poem. But I thought it was Biblical and she would know the story. I think the eroticism…slight as it was…..was what disturbed her. LOL!

    But she has remained a good friend and supporter of my work so far. I have learned NOT to read the more erotic poems for her ‘enjoyment’.

    We grow with our poetry, and that is a good thing. At least I hope I grow. LOL! (I know sitting here writing poetry has parts of me growing sideways…)

    Thank you, Gay for reading and being kind enough to leave a comment.

    Lady Nyo

    Lady Nyo.

    Like

  17. Steven Marty Grant Says:

    This is exquisite! I love the epic story expressed in an immediate poetic voice. Very happy to see this caliber of writing for OSW

    Like

  18. Steve Isaak Says:

    Love the everpresent nature/culturally-intense imagery, mingled with mature notions of romance. The last two stanzas are stunning. (I may’ve read this before, but if I have, I only vaguely remember doing so. . . getting old, and do you know how much I read, LOL?)

    Like

  19. tuberider Says:

    The poem reads like a Psalm! Very difficult to do but you did it well!

    Like

  20. Desert Rose Says:

    i loved this. too inspiring! i like your style lady..:)

    Like

  21. signed .............bkm Says:

    love it so delicate and so real…flesh answers flesh… it is the cycle of life…so nice to meet you at one shot….bkm

    Like

  22. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you….so nice to meet you~ I am very happy with the welcome, and very humbled. It seems that the poems I have already read today there are lovely. I am very happy that Steve Isaak has tuned me into this site.

    I feel home already!

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  23. ladynyo Says:

    You know what? I didn’t realize that….reads like a Psalm….but probably you are right.

    Believe me, it was a shot in the dark for me.

    Thank you. I think we all have different styles and voices we use with different poem attempts. You got me thinking about this…and I am going over some of my more recent poems to see what they ‘sound’ like.

    LOL~…good and bad right now…

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  24. ladynyo Says:

    Oh Steve….I really don’t know how you do it. Your “Reading by Pub Light” is something that must mean you cut yourself in pieces…clone yourself. I don’t know how in hell you keep it going.

    But I have come to expect incredible things from you…and you never disappoint. Your own poetry is so broad, it makes me dizzy!~

    The poem originally appeared in “A Seasoning of Lust”, my first book, which you did (last year…) an incredible review. I added or subtracted some words. but they were only a few.

    The culturally-intense imagery….comes from a fishing around for topics I guess….and being a belly dancer helps here. One thing I have learned over the past few years….is to study the literature …and the early stuff…of any culture I am attempting to write about: Berbers….(the women were the poets and the holders of the written language….rather different than most cultures) who showed up as Zars in “The Zar Tales”… and “Tin Hinan”….the Persians ….Rumi mostly, but the Shanannah…(I spelled that incorrectly) with it’s beautiful war poems….and the Japanese….for “The Kimono”. Tanka especially.

    You can’t stop falling into the culturally intense stuff and the poetry of these cultures just screams out at you. What we…as Westerners make of it is up to us.

    My poetry would be pretty scarce if I didn’t read this early literature. It opens up a world for me to cherry pick.

    As for nature…well, surrounded by it…how can we not create from what is in front of us?

    Thanks, Steve.

    Like

  25. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Steven. I am very happy to be amongst y’all…because I have everything to learn about poetry. Have only been writing it for about 4 years….I’m very new to the medium.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  26. Elise Says:

    excellent images and use of words, really great one shot. glad I stopped by!
    Elise

    Like

  27. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Elise. I checked out your blog: it’s really interesting. And I LOVE the name comedygoddess…..LOL!

    I’m really happy to meet all of you. I needed this shot in the arm (posting on another poetry blog…)…and to get off my fanny.

    Makes me want to finish this last book…which I have been dragging out because as one person said to me: “Who the hell buys poetry?”

    Well, I do….and I hope others do, too.

    And thank you, Elise…for stopping by.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  28. Boonie Says:

    I enjoyed this a lot. Thanks.

    All the best, Boonie

    Like

  29. gautami tripathy Says:

    Wonderful use of words. And great imagery!

    the middles makes it

    Like

  30. Eric Says:

    Good stuff, Jane! I especialy liked the juxtaposition of (almost mythical) Absalom and Babylon to the flesh-and-blood reality of lust. There’s a feeling of final surrender amidst it all.

    Thanks for joining in at One Shot Wednesday!

    Like

  31. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Eric! Thank you and all else for the wonderful welcome.

    Poetry is weird: it’s not to everyone’s taste. Many didn’t get it, and one writer (not a poet!) said “Nice, but it didn’t go anywhere”.

    LOL! I didn’t know poetry was supposed to go someplace….

    About three years ago I was on a mythology kick. I did a lot of what is called “flashers”….200 word stories, not scenes. Some I reformed into poems….but O Absalom just came out of the clouds pretty much formed as you read it. It was a wonderful surprise to me! Later, poetry got harder, more difficult, but I think sometimes nothing else will fit the bill.

    “Final surrender amidst it all”. You got it exactly. He’s dying or dead, and a lover is telling him….’be still…let us flow down the stream of life to our rest’.

    Or something like that…

    Thank you so much for reading and leaving a comment. I really learn about my poetry through the eyes of others…better than I learn from my own.

    Jane

    Like

  32. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you! This poem was a great surprise to me. I don’t think I have even been able to achieve that particular ‘voice’ in the poetry that came later. Though we are talking of only about 3 years duration…LOL!

    I’m here to learn. And OneSTop sounds exactly what I have been yearning for.

    What a Blessing …and just when I needed it.

    Thank you, again.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  33. Mama Zen Says:

    Gorgeous! The “this is our nature” verse is really powerful.

    Like

  34. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Mama Zen….(LOVE that name!)

    I am so glad to finally be amongst poets…other poets. It’s been a lonely time of it for a while. I feel energized reading other work!

    Good to know you!

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  35. Terresa Wellborn Says:

    Glad to have you join the One Shot Wednesday gang. 🙂

    And great One Shot, I especially liked this stanza:

    “This is our nature,

    This our calling while

    Flesh answers flesh.

    What quarter be given when the heart is

    Overwhelmed by passions excess?”

    Like

  36. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Terresa. I’m glad to be amongst fine poets. This is a real treat for me.

    That stanza seems to be a favorite of other poets…which is good because it’s pretty impassioned. LOL! I have a hard time removing myself at a distance in ‘voice’.

    Now…I just have to figure out what is meant by “One Shot”. LOL!…Rather slow here, or I’m not reading the top page right.

    Thank you for reading and for leaving a kind comment. Much appreciated.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  37. poemblaze Says:

    I especially like the simplicity of the first stanza and think it could stand alone.

    Like

  38. ladynyo Says:

    Oh! that’s an idea….LOL!…that’s what I LOVE about other poets reading your stuff…they show you possibilities that you rode right over in your attempts to write ‘more’.

    LOL!

    Thank you for reading and leaving a comment.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  39. Belinda Munoz + The Halfway Point Says:

    Gorgeous writing!

    So many good lines and these speak straight to my heart:

    We float upon a divine river
    Entangled in the reeds of human wanting.

    Like

  40. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Belinda. I think you nailed it! The point of poetry, at least for me….is to speak directly to readers hearts and experience. The heart is best.

    I don’t think it matters whether you are writing about your own life/experience, or you are using props…other characters. There has to be some connection….something of the human condition that we can grasp onto. We need those connections so we don’t get entangled in the reeds of human wanting.

    But of course, we do.

    Thank you so much for reading and being so kind to leave a comment.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  41. pete marshall Says:

    wow …this is a poem that has really graced One Shot…i am so grateful that Steve told you about us and you found your way here…loved this poem..i look forward to more..cheers pete

    Like

  42. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Pete. That’s so kind of you.

    I, too…am glad Steve told me about you folk. I feel very blessed to have found such a group of such good poets. I’m very new (a couple of years) to poetry, was working on novels, but I think I love poetry more….LOL!

    It’s damn hard, but it can be done. You know, I’ve recently been reading “Poets At Work”….a book put out of the Paris Review Interviews of Moore, Pound, Frost, WCWilliams, Lowell, etc….and from what I read…their approach isn’t much different from us today. Some are more ‘learned’ about the mechanics of poetry….meter, foot, rhythm, etc….but there is something that universally connects poets together. What that is I don’t yet know, except some intangible stuff.

    I don’t want to disappoint, but I’m not sure the next few poems I’ll post will have the stuff this one did. However the New Yorker rejected it this spring, so what hell. LOL!

    I really appreciate the support here and the encouragement. Something I’m not used to, but hope to reciprocate on OneShot.

    Thank you, again.
    Lady Nyo

    Like

  43. Shashi Says:

    What a beautiful verse …. the pain and the power of the song is very intimate as well as very spiritual as well ….Thanks for sharing…

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    I will great if you connect with me at Twitter @VerseEveryDay to read daily #FreeHaiku on love, life and longing

    Like

  44. Beth Says:

    Loved the poem! And it’s so nice to meet you 🙂

    Like

  45. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Beth. Nice to meet you, too.

    WordPress has AGAIN screwed with the format…Why in hell don’t they leave it alone? Now it’s harder to retrieve the comments and to answer.

    Recently they changed things where it was hard to find “Post”.

    ARRGGGUHHHH! Why can’t they leave things alone…Just when I was getting used to the way they changed it, they change it again.

    Pissy….

    Not such a lady-Nyo today.

    Like

  46. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Shashi! And welcome. I love all new readers, and the older ones, too! LOL!

    Someone pointed out that this sounds like a psalm….or a song. I am grateful for these comments because I see my poetry through other eyes. Expands the meaning of the poem and it’s impact.

    Thank you, again…and sorry that your comment ended in spam. I don’t know why!

    Hugs,
    Lady Nyo

    Like

  47. ladynyo Says:

    Thanks, Boonie…and Welcome!

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  48. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Desert Rose….and Welcome!

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  49. make music online Says:

    We just couldnt leave your website before saying that we really enjoyed the quality information you offer to your visitors… Will be back often to check up on new stuff you post!

    Like

  50. sonic producer Says:

    This is the perfect blog for anyone who wants to know about this topic. You know so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really would want…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a subject thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!

    Like

  51. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you. You ended up in spam for some reason.
    Lady Nyo

    Like

  52. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you. appreciate readers.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

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