I passed you in the mall;

You were pushing a stroller;

You held a small boy by the hand.


I caught your eye,

Though I didn’t mean to,

Or, perhaps,

It was the other way round.


     So, in an instant,

     All our history passed before me:

     Our casual meeting…

     I needed a place to sit;

     You had an empty chair…

     Our first quiet talk,

     Sorting each other out…

     You are not merely being polite;

     I am not a serial killer…

     The first time we really looked,

     And felt the space between dissolve,

     First kiss, first embrace,

     First clumsy tangling,

     Laughing curses at clothing,

     Our first night, knowing

     It was the first,

     First child,

     And here I am,

     Not caring what comes next,

     As long as it is with you.


All this in a moment,

A moment in a busy mall,

A moment like a wildflower

Stumbled across in a thatch of weeds,

And passed,

With only gratitude to mark the moment.





Balthusian’s Love Song

I have a number of alter-egos.  Balthusian is one of them.


            Balthusian’s Love Song


You never surfed, or went by freighter;

I never left dripping when I overturned;

We recovered, and thought no more of tulips.


All things are erotic by moonlight;

Our encounter was no surprise, then.

Our bodies were polarized.


When we had finished I let go the blind;

It rattled like a passing train;

We ignored the scenery over breakfast.


I never pressed the shutter, you know.

Of course you do;  I know these things.

If this was a dream, it can recur.


I remember the back seat for gum wrappers.

You come to notice such oddments.

We lay together, ordinary as a carpet.


We died our little deaths so often,

Our lives were measured out in pomegranates.



From Anais Nin

I found this great addition to my Quotations I Like  page in A Spy in the House of Love…by Anais Nin.


Guilt is the one burden human beings cannot bear alone.

Rhonda Poem 7: Postlude: Yule

This is the final Rhonda poem.  There is no happy ever after…there is only memory.


It is over.

And whatever we have done

Is buried in snow, vanished in drift;

Winter is merciful.


By the time the thaw reveals the past,

I will be ready to look upon what remains

Without desire,

Without regret;


Memory undefiled by mourning.

Rhonda Poem 5: Lugnasad

“All this is ours”

She waved at the hills of grain.

We stood in the farm yard, ringed by poplars,

(All the same height, planted as a wind-break)

Magpies squawked overhead;

We walked to the barn, and waved to her parents.


“No, no saddle.”

She haltered the little buckskin, mounted.

I clambered up behind her.

We walked out of the yard, into the fields.

The house disappeared behind a rise.

I let my grip on her waist slip upward;

I cupped a breast.


She flailed back, laughing as I fell off.

She turned, sat sidesaddle, took off her tee-shirt,

Then gracefully, whipped off the rest,

Tossing her clothes to me.

“Lead him,” she said, and passed me the reins.

Carrying her clothes, I walked into the grain.


I looked back.

She sat tall, golden skin glowing,

Her red-blonde hair floating in the sun–

She seemed to grow from the ripening wheat.


“Will he stay?” I asked.

“Yes.”  She slid from the horse.


As I lay on her, I said:

“This ought to be in spring, in the furrows,

For a good harvest.”

She squeezed my sides;

“Now,” she said, “for gratitude.”

“Gratitude?  For what?”

“You fool,” she said

And hugged.


Rhonda Poem 3: Beltane

She met me at the door,

My arms were full of daffodils.

I watched her rummage for a vase.

“Here, this one will do.”

She held an Okanagan wines carafe.


She set it on the bedside table,

And drew me down with her.

As we lay, she glanced at the table.

“Look, ” she said, “the label!”

‘Summerland Riesling’.

She laughed.

The Summerland was the celtic afterlife.

Daffodils in Summerland…what symmetry!”

She said, “Springtime to winter…

It’s an omen, my friend.”


I already felt cold.

Must it be?”  I asked.


Trust me,” she whispered.


Out of the corner of my eye

The blossoms shone like the sun

All the afternoon.




Rhonda Poem 2: At Imbolc

Falling in love….what a interesting way of putting it.  Someone once wrote that love gives wings to your heart…you fly!  you soar!  Is not love in its beginning exultant?  And if a love ends…and most things do end…is not that the time of falling? So, in the beginning you do fall in love, as a fortress to a conqueror, but, remember, love, in both its beginning and its ending, is merciless.

Rhonda Poem 2:  At Imbolc

I met her at a party

Where they scattered you among strangers,

Pulled apart every whichway, confused,

Desperately searching for recognizing.

She was standing alone, watching.

A small smile played about her mouth;

I caught her eye, from across the room.

I dodged my way to her.

And then the room contracted

And the talk became a background murmur,

Like a distant brook,

Like a far-off wind,

The lights were on us alone.

All I could find to say was

“I’ve fallen in love.”

Even then, she did not answer, or ever.

She just took my hand and said:

“Let’s go somewhere.”

And when we parted, later that evening,

We did not arrange to meet,

But in the noontime light or midnight

We would call to each other;

We never thought to deny the summons.

Rhonda Poem 1: The Scarf

I once met a woman named Rhonda.  A remarkable experience.  From it came a series of poems…this was the first.  Much later, I saw a group of people waiting to get in at a museum display.  There was this wonderful rich laugh…I knew it was her.  Amazing!  I knew her by her laugh, alone.

                                              The  Scarf

If you loose your hair from your scarf,

You will bind me tighter yet to you.

It would not be by design,

For you are not that way.

But by an accident of revelation,

As an unsuspected view on a familiar drive,

Or a sudden rainbow at a summer dusk…

Snatching the mind from its ways of habit.


You are full of such hazards,

To which I must fall victim.

My capture was so casual a deed for you,

So artlessly done, in such innocence,

You do not know you have me.


If I should tell you

Would you make your heart a mirror

For a fool to see himself,

Or a door to welcome me

In some union of terrible joy?


While I ponder

Do, please

See to your scarf.

The Sensitive One

My last post was from the point of view of the submissive.  Let me sidebar this one with a couple of thoughts.  Sadism/masochism…dominance/submission, it is not necessary for pain to be an expression of dominance, or sadism, surprisingly.  Sadism is being aroused by causing another pain and /or humiliation.  In a sadist/masochist relationship the other is simply an instrument of one’s own desires.  Dominance/submission is more problematic.  A dominant might very well be primarily interested in his or her own pleasure, but, sometimes, it moves beyond that.  To be truly dominant over another, you must give yourself to knowledge of the other, and that involves a tremendous degree of empathy.   Oddly, to be truly dominant, the dominant must give himself or herself to the submissive, to immerse the self in understanding the other.  The more precise and careful the application of pain, the more the dominant has understood the triggers of the submissive.  And the more the submissive can exult in his or her own nature.

The Sensitive One

Oh, you are greedy, my little slut, so greedy.

No matter how much I give to you, more,

More is demanded, I can tell.  Say nothing.


You need not speak once our ceremony begins.

I know what I have to know.  How is this?

Do I not rejoice in your wails, your writhing?

Do I not grin most grimly as you beg?

Do I not take my pleasure when I will?

Yes, but the price of this is knowledge.


That knowledge is as yet impossible for you,

My little slut, for one of us is selfish and self-absorbed,

And that is not me, my darling little pain-lover.

As you revel in the kiss of the whip, in my relentless hand,

In my unforgiving straps, my bonds,  ha! these household objects,

Now given to a different ritual, as you squirm and cry.

As your lust transfigures you, look at me:

Observe the calm, the serenity, the careful deliberation,

This does not come from nowhere.  Do you never ask

How I know just how to hurt you? To chastise your body?

To mortify your spirit?  To smile at your whimpers?

I have even dressed you like a doll, used you for a toy.

You have given me your will, and I will use it.

I have sent you limping, wincing, yes, still sobbing.

You spend days hiding the welts, the bruises,

Those blessed signs of our painful eucharist.


I know these things, because I see.

From our first communion it has always been you,

My eyes drinking you in, studying, assessing, desiring,

And noting the desire in you.   My secret:

I immerse myself in you to know you,

Knowing precise timing, strength, attitude, placement

So to make your scream a cry of release.


Oh child, every day you smile at the unknowing, those

Weaklings you meet as you go, hiding the evidence,

At first from shame, and now from compassion,

Of your inevitable, strange and enduring triumph.





Murshida 2

For a moment, walking hand in hand

I felt we ceased to be.

Passers-by saw not two, but one.



For a moment,  my love for you

Was no more, for I was not;

For a moment,  even you were not;

For a moment,  what remained

Was love without an owner,

Without a source, without an object.

For a moment, what remained

Was all that really is,

For a moment.


My friend, when this had passed,

I felt the touch of your hand

And we were smiling

In a still, warm day.