‘O Absalom!’, from “A Seasoning of Lust”


Absalom, King David’s son, caught by his hair in battle.


The Lady Nyo, with glitter

The Lady Nyo, with glitter

It must be the sultriness of the weather, the heat that pulsates in this ‘spring’ air that brings our thoughts to passion, sex.   June opens with a furnace blast and there is still three more weeks of spring.  But summer has more than appeared, and we will have to make the best of it.  The night is cooler, and one can stand the touch of another, as long as there are fans and the touch is fleeting. 

 It is still spring, with all the fertility of  pollen, reproduction, grafting, etc….so perhaps if one’s thoughts turn to passion, it can be expected.

Lady Nyo

O Absalom!

O Absalom,

Ensnared by  long hair in the

Boughs of an oak,

Pierced through the heart three times–

The shimmer of life now fading.


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,

Let the mud of 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, 2009,

from ” A Seasoning of Lust”, published by Lulu.com

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22 Responses to “‘O Absalom!’, from “A Seasoning of Lust””

  1. Olivia Says:

    very powerful image sketched with your words.. How you combined it with the elements to bring out th essence.. mindblowing!

    Hugs xx


  2. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Olivia!

    You know how some poems just come out of the blue??? This one did…and it’s an early poem for me…..(I’ve been poet for only 4 years or so…)

    I am so glad you liked this…it’s one of my favorites.

    Thank you so much for reading and your lovely comment.


    Lady Nyo


  3. Marian Says:

    oh yes let’s ride the rivers of babylon…

    lady nyo, i also came by to say this: As Poets United reaches its first anniversary this week we want to thank you for your support. Over the past year, we have grown to 250 members plus and are steadily growing. Poets United is proud to have you as one of our members and look forward to another successful year. Your imagination, creativity and willingness to share with us is what makes our community such a wonderful place. Thank you for beautiful poetry and thank you for being a part of Poets United.


  4. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Marian….Most of these poetry groups are so important to the future of poets and poetry. We cut our teeth on so many of these classrooms. It’s hard to contribute or read all of them, because many times we settle into a particular ‘kind’ of poetry. For me, over the past few years, tanka has become a good form. However, I love freeverse as a foundation for my own poetry, and delight in reading other poets.

    These groups are wonderful because they expose you to new forms, they push you, and most importantly, they give you a platform for discussion, critique and development.

    I thank you, Marian, for you very nice comment. I’ve been working on a novel (The Kimono) so have concentrated most of my time and energy on this. However, poetry is a river that runs though many of us writers carrying our creativity to new places.

    Congratulations to Poets United on their one year anniversity! I will try to be more of a presence there this second year.
    Lady Nyo


  5. brian Says:

    one hand to heaven and the other to earth…but unwilling to let go of either…love the sensual nature within…i got carried away on your river there for a moment…flesh answering flesh and all…smiles. delightful write lady nyo


  6. dustus Says:

    “Flesh answers flesh.
    What quarter be given when the heart is
    Overwhelmed by passions excess?”

    Great end rhyme there. Love the Biblical allusions throughout, fitting for the sultry nature of your poem.


  7. Pat Hatt Says:

    Awww to cleanse the mud away
    As the mud soothe our wounds and dismay
    Enoyed the words you put into play
    With each one images you lay
    Into ones head
    Some of dread
    You captured the image quite well
    In your words I must tell


  8. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Pat.

    Lady Nyo


  9. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Dustus,

    I came into OSP with this poem, reworked it recently, and post it today.

    This poem surprised me. I’m not up on biblical lore much, and it seemed to come out of the dark.

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

    Lady Nyo


  10. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Brian…one of my first poems about 3 years ago, and the ‘voice’ is unusual for me.

    Thank you for reading and your encouragement…always.

    Lady Nyo


  11. hedgewitch Says:

    Tour of the battlfield of passion, no ceasefire for safety either. Very well done, you’ve really caught that sense of anger that hides under the skin of lust sometimes and needs touch to dissipate as it explodes. Esp liked “…Corrupted over a life time and now–
    Flayed on an unending mandala….”


  12. ladynyo Says:

    Hello Hedgewitch…

    Thank you…an early poem, and came out of the dark. I didn’t see anger so much as desperation. But it very well could be.

    Thank you, sweetie, for reading and your always insightful comments.

    Lady Nyo


  13. barbara Says:

    Oh the passion of loving…what a beauty in lust …let Babylon carry us away in its arms Flesh answers Flesh….as it must….ao fine in detail Lady….bkm


  14. leah Says:

    What a brave poem. blessings


  15. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Leah.

    Lady Nyo


  16. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Barbara….

    This is one of my first attempts at ‘erotica’…in poetry….

    Thank you for reading and your encouraging comment.

    Lady Nyo


  17. marousia Says:

    Love it – so so decadent and delicious


  18. gautami tripathy Says:


    eye for an eye


  19. Laura Hegfield Says:

    so beautiful Jane…every line ripe with sensuality…I loved this one “O beautiful Absalom,

    We float upon a divine river

    Entangled in the reeds of human wanting.”


  20. ladynyo Says:

    Hey Laura!

    That poem surprises me….LOL! I have no idea where that emotive voice came from for this poem. Thin air.

    I think I didn’t realize the sensuality of this poem until I read it to a nun. LOL!

    Thank you, Laura…this is one of my favorite poems.



  21. hollyheir Says:

    The imagery is powerful as is the passion. The subtext subtly informs the poem without overpowering it. Deft work with lush vocabulary. Well done. Gay


  22. ladynyo Says:

    Hello Gay!

    I wish I could write critique as well as you! Thank you so much….glad you like this poem.

    Lady Nyo


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