“O Absalom”, a Love poem, for Open Link Night, dversepoets pub.

Absalom 3


O, Absalom!

Ensnared by long hair in the

Boughs of an oak,

Pierced through the heart three times–

The shimmer of life fading.



Pulled into mysteries

Abandoned by love

Given over to lust

Charged with stolen rapture

Dizzy as a drunken dervish-

One hand up to Heaven

One hand spills 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

Overwhelmed by passion’s 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, 2017

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23 Responses to ““O Absalom”, a Love poem, for Open Link Night, dversepoets pub.”

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) Says:

    I love how you have brought he old stories (grisly indeed) to life… I had to google the story to see the background.


  2. kanzensakura Says:

    Such a sad story is this tale of Absalom. You did it much justice in your writing.


  3. Bodhirose Says:

    I know there must be a back story to Absalom that I don’t know but the tale is all familiar with unending human desire and the many ways it can entrap us. Such beautifully descriptive writing, Jane…speaks of tragedy.


  4. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Gayle. I didn’t know the story either, but I was drawn to the name “Absalom”. I did some research and found it was Biblical. Although….I read this poem to a 80 year old nun, and she was made very uncomfortable. LOL!

    Thank you, Gayle.


  5. ladynyo Says:

    Well, Toni, you would know the basics of this biblical tale better than I. I don’t know what drew me to write this poem….but I do know that Babylon and dervishes are united in my mind for some reason. LOL!
    Thank you, dear soul.


  6. ladynyo Says:

    Funny, Bjorn. I didn’t have a clue who Absalom was, except a vague biblical character. But the name was a temptation. And anytime you can throw dervishes in the pot, it’s good to go. Poetically speaking, I mean.

    Thank you, Bjorn!


  7. Bodhirose Says:

    Somehow that made me smile. Maybe the poor dear found it too “graphic” for her liking.


  8. ladynyo Says:

    Yep, a sweet 80 year plus old Irish Catholic nun who was tough as nails on a daily basis, but blushed mightily at the ‘sins’ in the poem. LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. purplepeninportland Says:

    Love all the amazing images in this, especially,

    ‘Dizzy as a drunken dervish-

    One hand up to Heaven

    One hand spills to Earth’

    I had to look for this story as well.


  10. georgeplace2013 Says:

    I am familiar with the story and I believe David would have loved this poem to his son.


  11. Grace Says:

    Filled with passion as always Jane ~ Love this part:

    We float upon a divine river

    Entangled in the reeds of human wanting.


  12. kim881 Says:

    I had heard of the name but had to look it up – and I’ve learnt something new! I like how you have adopted biblical language in this poem, Jane, and especially love the lines:
    ‘The shimmer of life fading’;
    ‘Charged with stolen rapture’;
    ‘Entangled in the reeds of human wanting’.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Kim.This poem as a bit of age on it, but wrote it with passion.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Grace.


  15. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you! That is the Highest praise I can imagine.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. ladynyo Says:

    Me, too. LOL! thank you for reading it.


  17. qbit Says:

    “Skirts stiffened with sins hard as stone” – wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, qbit.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. sarahrussellpoetry Says:

    I love the name Absalom, but had never heard the story. I’ll bet you read the poem to the nun just to see her reaction, naughty girl!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. revivedwriter Says:

    Wonderful! My favorite part is “dizzy as a drunken dervish.” I also thought it was interesting that you incorporated dervishes and mandalas in this poem about a Biblical story.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. ladynyo Says:

    Well, you write what you know. Demons, too.

    LOL! Thank you for reading and your kind comment.


  22. ladynyo Says:

    sarah….actually I was pretty naive as to the reaction of Sister Marie. But she claims to be proud of me and my poetry. Because of the poetry, I guess. LOL!


  23. Bodhirose Says:

    Too funny, Jane!


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