“The River”, for OneShotPoetry Wednesdays….

from website: halfhearted dude...and thank you.

WARNING: EROTICA.  Don’t read if you are offended by  sexual description.

This poem was originally published in my first book:  “A Seasoning of Lust”, 2009.  It was chosen by  ERWA (Erotica Readers and Writers Association) as one of two “best poems” of 2009.  I believe a poem of Nick Nicholson was the other  given this honor.


The sun streams in the window,

Like a jarring benediction

From a loud-mouthed priest.

It falls upon us

As we spoon asleep,

Your back turned to me,

My nose on your skin

Breathing in the miracle of you.

Last night, our first in spent passion,

That particular coin flowed like a river

Between us.

You brought hot, wet towels

To clean up the waters left by the flood.

Bending over me,

Parting my thighs with your hands,

I wanted you to leave the damp alone,

And slide

Into the still wet, faintly pulsing dark chasm,

My hollow jerking and twisting at the end of you.

But instead,

I curled up like a fiddle-head fern,

And embraced your dark head with my hands,

Pulling your mouth to my own,

And we flowed down that river again.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2008, 2010

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29 Responses to ““The River”, for OneShotPoetry Wednesdays….”

  1. Steve Isaak Says:

    I’ve read this before, and the second time around is no less effective than the first, in its eroticism, memorable analogies (particularly the “sun – priest” one in the first stanza), and relatability. Most of us have had at least one night of passion similar in mood – if not details – in our lives.

    Excellent, as your writing often is. 🙂


  2. ladynyo Says:

    Hey Steve!! LOL!…You jumped the gun!

    Ah, well…..shoot….it’s one of the very first erotic poems I wrote, and there is an edginess to it.

    Thank you, as always, for your reading and your encouragement.

    Re: “Nightwired”….I started to pick out a couple of your poems today to read again, and again, and I think you have something that is really spectacular here. Some stick in the brain pan and haunt….and they keep recycling around my mind all day. That’s good news. I want to do justice by the mss you sent, but that is going to take a little while.

    But I can’t thank you enough for this first glimpse into this remarkable book. I am struck how multilevel is your talent. And your writing is so damn fresh!! It snaps at you. LOL!



  3. River Says:

    Steamy! I giggled with the line about the fiddle head fern line. Great imagery. 🙂


  4. ladynyo Says:

    Hiya River!

    I remember seeing a glen of those up in North Carolina….they eat them, you know….I guess fried…or sauteed?

    Thanks for reading and for your comment here….

    Lady Nyo


  5. A.B. Thomas Says:

    A very sensuous write, thanks for warming this frozen soul in the Great White North.


  6. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Anthony!

    Any way to save on the electric bill~! LOL!

    Thank you for reading and leaving a comment. Now, really…how cold is it actually in the Great White North??? Unless you are caught in that snow storm/blizzard in Minn??

    Here in Atlanta, it’s an unseasonal 71 degrees today, but it’s raining and by Friday it should be in the high 40’s.

    Cheers! and a cupa hot cocoa!

    Lady Nyo


  7. marousia Says:

    This is genuinely erotic writing – loved it. The imagery is so deliciously sensuous


  8. pete marshall Says:

    a wonderful sensuous write ( i love that word) that bares testament to your wonderful style…great poem

    Thanks for sharing with One Shot




  9. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Pete!

    It’s a delicate balance I think, between pornography and erotica….and it is a conscious decision NOT to tip into one or the other.

    As for ‘style’…LOL!…I’m still trying to figure out what that means for a new writer…I think we tend to lean one way or the other, but don’t really know much about this for years.

    Thank you, Pete, for reading and your lovely comment.

    Lady Nyo


  10. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Marousia,

    And thank you. I only started writing 4 years ago, when I joined ERWA (Erotica Readers and Writers Ass) .

    Except for a very out of bounds novel, I had little to lean on as a writer…articles, some that actually were published in Countryside and Small Stock Journal (something like that…) about permaculture, urban pioneering, etc…lol…but nothing of poetry or books.

    At ERWA I read a lot of different writers, all writing erotica of some sort. It was a minefield for a new and ignorant writer. Especially because some wrote what I would consider outright porn, or bdsm stuff (I tried my hand at that, but lost interest) but some had developed a style where you could identify the writer. There was, probably as an undercurrent….always this issue of erotica vs. porn….but I don’t think it was ever resolved. I think it’s something you just resolve yourself and let the others go by.

    There was a staff person, Gary Russell, from the UK, who was running the little poetry corner there. There was a lot of resentment from many erotica writers as to why poetry should be there….and one great battle right before I joined in 2007. It sunk poetry there for a while, but poets don’t stay underwater for long! LOL! Gary was the first exposure (a natural word in erotica…LOL!) to different forms of poetry for me…and he did some excellent mentoring there. But poetry needs more room to grow, at least I did…as a poet and as a writer…it is hard to write to a ‘theme’ (erotica) all the time, and probably not good if you want to explore other types of writing.

    I believe that there must be a sort of delicacy in writing erotica. Body parts and bodily functions can be hashed to boredom. Poetry seems a great vehicle to lift erotica into a different sphere…what, I don’t quite know…still trying to figure that out.

    I realized this…that erotica should be a seasoning, not the whole meal…at least to me, and named my first book “A Seasoning of Lust”, which probably had ‘stronger’ pieces in that stew than what I genuinely believe good erotica to be. But that is a learning issue. I did learn that 90 year old ladies, nuns and rabbis were not a great source of audience…though I gave this new book away to them in the fit of excitement of being a first time author.


    Finally, I learned that we have to listen to our gut on this issue of erotica. It is a matter of personal taste, and our influences need to be clarified, and not overwhelm our own decisions on this issue.

    Thank you! Marousia for reading and leaving such a comment. Much appreciated!

    Lady Nyo


  11. dustus Says:

    Beautifully written. The images used, and feelings described, present a poem that captures the reflection very well.


  12. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Dustus…

    Learning here…

    Thank you for reading and leaving a kind comment.

    Lady Nyo


  13. hedgewitch Says:

    I reluctantly read this because frankly so much erotica is not well written. A good poem is a good poem, one that says something meaningful about its topic, not just exploits an easy sensationalism or uses flashwords to provoke a response. You’ve done great work here with this lovely piece that sails on the wings of sensuality out the other side of erotica and enters the area of just excellent writing. I loved every image, and every memory it evoked. Also enjoyed your insightful comments about your experiences. Keep up the good work.


  14. ladynyo Says:

    Whew! LOL!

    Well, I’m with you, Hedgewitch. I saw so much bad and low stuff that masqueraded as erotica…that I couldn’t take it anymore. It made me feel …grimy. Needed a bath after some readings. LOL!

    I know what you mean about ‘reluctant’ reading…I thought this would evoke this response in many, because we have been inundated with smut in our society. It’s rather a matter of taste perhaps, but I think ‘taste’ is considered an element that is elitist, class-ist, etc. I don’t agree. I think artistic expression needs some uplifting, some profundity, something here. I don’t exactly know what yet, but I’m working on it.

    And it’s very easy to exploit sensationalism. We see it on TV all the time….in lyrics to popular songs. It’s like dirty water that flows through the mind and pollutes in some profound and unshakable way to me.

    I hope this simple poem provokes memories of love and love-making in everyone who reads. I believe that our attempts at poetry should. That’s the resonance I keep hounding upon.

    Thanks, Hedgewitch, for reading and leaving a very insightful comment. Much appreciated.

    Lady Nyo


  15. Claudia Says:

    ..and we flowed down the river again…beautiful


  16. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Claudia,
    for reading and leaving a comment.

    Funny, the title “The River” was there from the very beginning of the poem. I think I wrote the poem around the title….LOL~!

    Lady Nyo


  17. Eric Says:

    Hot stuff. Loved the ‘fiddlehead fern’ part best. Nice shot!


  18. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Eric.

    Lady Nyo


  19. Mama Zen Says:

    This is exquisite!


  20. ladynyo Says:

    Well….Thank You!!

    Happy Thanksgiving, Mama Zen!

    Thank you for reading and commenting.

    Lady Nyo

    PS: I just wet my pants reading your blog, Mama Zen…and damn, I also just finished the laundry.

    You owe me.


  21. Corbie Sinclair Says:

    Beautiful poem. I agree with all the others, the fiddle head being a great line. You are very talented. Keep up the great work!


  22. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Corbie.

    I was reading an interview of James Dickey last night, where he lambastes a lot of other poets of his generation, American and English. It got me wondering what ‘makes’ a poet. It’s certainly more than talent, because everyone he dissed had talent: Ginsberg, Lowell, Pound, Frost, etc.

    I think it came down to this, and I think I agree. It’s a simplicity and quietude we weave with poems. We don’t need the topical issues of the day, the politics, the social environment to create ‘political’ poems. And how long can we sustain interest in our personal issues, our families? How long (as Sexton and Lowell do, but not completely…) can we make these issues eternally fascinating to readers? They aren’t. (I disagree with him about Frost, because he draws upon his immediate environment, and that is to the good of his poems in my opinion.)

    Dickey talked about William Stafford, a poet I am not familiar with but will be. He says Stafford talks like a Midwestern farmer who just has this capacity to say startling, quiet stuff. We listen because he is ‘murmuring’.

    This goes to the issue of ‘voice’ but I think it is more an issue of vision and then content of our poems.

    But I am a very new poet, only of a few years duration, so I am just trying to figure it all out. And that is what most of us are trying to do, whether we have been writing for long or short periods.

    I think, though, the point is this: what fuels our interest in poetry? Some are just technicians: they have studied the forms, gotten the different forms down, but what fuels their love of poetry? How do they maintain it, this freshness, this pulse?

    Thank you, Corbie….for reading and leaving a comment.

    Lady Nyo


  23. June_Butterfly Says:

    SENSOUS!!Honestly is what came to my mind when I finished reading your post.

    EROTIC,yes.But not porno!There’s a natural sexiness in every word written that makes one feel privileged to have had the chance to read this piece.

    HOT one shot,Jane!


  24. ladynyo Says:

    ROTF< June!

    I really was worried about how this particular poem would go over here….my only experience with a poetry group was with ERWA, and there, the more ‘erotic’ the better….sometimes the lines were blurred between porno and erotica….

    Not that I ever did this…lol…well, I really hate porno for a lot of reasons…mostly because it does blur the lines and also what it says about women. In general…through the eyes and hands of men. Plus, it is too much work to write….with a straight face.

    Thank you, June, for reading and your comment.

    Lady Nyoooooo


  25. Shashi Says:

    So sensuous and lovely.. I enjoyed it.
    Thanks for sharing…

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    Twitter: @VerseEveryDay
    Blog: http://shadowdancingwithmind.blogspot.com


  26. ladynyo Says:

    Hey Shashi!

    Thank you for reading and leaving a comment.

    Lady Nyo


  27. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, A>B> Thomas.

    Lady Nyo


  28. DU Webmistress Says:

    Hi, I enjoyed your poetry, please could you get in touch with me regarding a query I have about one of your poems, thanks (sorry I couldn’t see a place to contact you directly).


  29. ladynyo Says:

    The the readers of my blog: Apparently a member of Deep Underground Poetry website has taken my poem “The River” published in 2009 in my first book: “A Seasoning of Lust” and has claimed it as her own. Her name is Vimhka. It is unfortunate that another poet would stoop to this behavior and it is certainly fraudulent and a copyright infringement.

    Thankfully, the Webmistress of DU contacted me to resolve this situation that I was unaware of. Poetry is hard work. This person took this poem (which won “Poem of the Year” award with one other poem by Nick Nicholson in 2010??) , just changed the title and very awkwardly four lines in two stanzas. They didn’t even make any poetical sense! LOL!

    This happened to me before in the UK, but that was not so blatant: The person had a website and just without permission, posted poems and a short story of mine there. The people at ERWA took care of that quickly. I was then flattered, but in this case, it was an attempt to defraud, not one of admiration for literature.

    I have never heard of Deep Underground Poetry.com, nor do I have an account there, but it looks like a HUGE poetry site. I am thankful that the Webmistress contacted me with details.

    Lady Nyo


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