Rhonda Poem 4: Midsummer

In the afternoon, there is a dazzle

A shimmer in which I walk in trust, blind

To the edge of the stream-cut slash,

Where the tall trees block the sun again,

And the brook lies in sudden clarity.


Because it has but recently emerged from light,

It is pristine, it carries nothing, lightly

Run its waves, like children.


It moves gently amid the wreck of spring–

Stranded logs, bits of this ‘n’ that from far upstream,

All abandoned to the winds along the banks,

Roots of willow and poplar and spruce,

Trees deep undermined, in a slow topple

Frozen over the water in the heat of summer.


Dragonflies in impossible blues and greens

Dart from bank to bank, skimming the waves

On nearly invisible wings.


Above, the applause of aspen leaves

In the unfelt breeze.  A single leaf

Falls, spinning, spinning, then caught

And borne off on the breast of the water.


For no reason, I raise my arms;

The air is cool as lips.


The sunlight flits golden on the waves,

And the water itself seems to float;

It runs through my fingers like hair.


The air is cool as lips;

The water, light as hair.


Beneath the trees, the heavy scent of humus,

Soft and rich, alive, dappled with sunlight

And violets and the small flowers of wild strawberries.


She  and I once lay here together,

And when she stood, I held her hands

When she would brush herself.

She smiled, stained with green and brown,

A sheen of sweat between her breasts,

Her hair hung with leaves and petals,

Transfigured by the sun.


We stood in the stream,

And washed away each other,

And this place.


But the air is still cool as lips,

The water light as hair,

And the earth soft as memory.


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.

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.





Anastasia’s song

Upon reading 50 Shades of Grey, I decided to rewrite a verse I penned some time ago.  By the way, I do not feel 50 Shades is great literature, possibly not even good literature, but, it is important literature, in that it shows elements of  human relationships before this confined to porn pages.

We tend to forget that in the 19th century, there were brothels devoted to the exercise of sado-masochism.  Spanking, or birching…these were known as the ‘English vices’.   People as diverse as T.E. Lawrence and Percy Grainger were devotees of the cane.  It is just a choice we make, some of us, anyway, those not bent that way by childhood abuse.

(By the way, for those interested in the literary aspects of s/m, Sophie Morgan’s ‘Diary of a Submissive’, is a stirring document.  Do prepare a cold shower, if you are going to read it alone.)

Actually, my only firm objection to 50 Shades is its unreality.  Let’s face it, most dominants are not billionaires like Grey, able to give their subs or bottoms top of the line Audis, most are folks just like you.   Ana, however,  is replicated in the male and female everywhere.   I await eagerly a male version of something like ‘Diary of a Masochist.’

I became fascinated by the whole business very early in my adult life, but, was far too chicken to explore deeply.  But, I thought about it a lot.  What is the zing, the fascination with accepting pain and humiliation?  Is it possibly that the infliction of pain on one causes an awakening of the ‘fight or flight’ feeling, there is a release of something like pheromones when the body is pushed to the limit?

I do not know.   Of course.   But, out of that came this poem.  I decided to write a poem from the point of view of the bottom, or submissive.   I called it:

The invulnerable

Do you wonder that I seek,

The keen edge of pain welcomed,

The service of that other beauty?


There is no light without darkness,

No pleasure that does not begin or end in pain.

Do you marvel that I reach out thus,

To deny the loss, take hold of the losing?


That is how to take command:

When the doors to pain are opened

Fear is all that is lost.


As in the body, so in the soul.


When I am before you, an offering,

I am triumphant.

When the sacrifice is taken

I am victorious.


Come.  Inflict.

Your command,

It is mine.

In truth

My hand holds the whip.



Would you taste my wisdom?

Come then,

Lie here.


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.


Murshida 1

Years ago, I had a magical affair with a young woman who was into the sufi traditions.  In those traditions, a murshid is a teacher.  I think i coined the term murshida, to refer to a female teacher.  Maybe it is for real.  She certainly was…is.  I composed my Murshida poems over a period of some time, after our relationship changed form.  I will feed them into this blog a bit at a time.  I felt they needed a place other than a notebook on a shelf.   Murshida 1

Happy Valentines

Here’s one for the old love feast!!!!     Happy Valentines.2doc

April’s Bottom…Das Lied von der Po

Back in May, 2012 I posted an early version of my celebration:  April’s Bottom.  I thought it time to revisit, so, here is the updated edition.

April’s bottom was first noticed when she was but four years of age.  People said…my, what a sweet bottom!  Her parents became quite disturbed.  She was, after all, forever running around naked in the back yard, and sometimes in the front, as well.  It was very hot that year, but that wasn’t the real reason she was naked.  At that age, and most regrettably not later, she just loved to doff textiles at the first opportunity.  Her parents had to admit, reluctantly, that she did have a wonderful bottom.  You could hear them muttering:  what are we going to do about April’s bottom?

By the time she was eight, she was affecting traffic flow, wherever she went.  Her parents were urged, for the sake of the safety of others, to dress her in loose, baggy clothing.  Her posterior was simply too compelling.  They did try, they truly did, but every time the wind blew from behind, the cars would begin to swerve.

Coffee shops and April!  When she turned twelve, old men were seen to mop their brows in Starbucks.  Relationships foundered as all parties were otherwise smitten.  University divinity students found a new faith in the Creator.  At this time, the problem, if one sees it as such, was much aggravated by fashion, particularly the fashion of jeans.  They were low slung, and every time April crouched down, or sat, the back of the jeans would slide down.  Coffee cups all around froze on their way to mouths.

Seeing this, her proud though despairing parents were heard to tell her to pay attention ‘or else…’  And with that ‘or else’, heads turned, as the nearby patrons were galvanized by deep feelings of profound ambiguity, as they, on the one hand found their self-righteousness aroused, and on the other hand, blushed with guilt in their secret delight in the vision of a however brief return to less enlightened times, and more manual ways of posterior persuasion.

Of such ways, I am both pleased, and curiously reluctant to say, April remains innocent.

But, all that was nothing compared to when she was in her teens.  By this time, creation had already completed what many considered to be its masterwork.  One glimpse was enough to put paid to anyone’s sense of equilibrium, peace, order, even good government.  April’s bottom was now a force of nature, a source of disarray and delighted confusion, a divine agency of chaos.

As for April, she was used by this time, to people staring at her behind.  She would walk down the street and surreptitiously look at reflections in windows, and she would see people looking, and smile, gently.  It is a tribute to her generosity of personality that she became neither arrogant, nor overly shy, but recognized that the sight of her bottom was to many a truly blessed assurance that the universe was, indeed, a place of grace and hope.

She therefore always dressed so that her gluteal loveliness was clearly available, but not thrust callowly into one’s face (although, in this case, few would have objected to that!).  For ever and ever, she would hear the whispers she first heard in playschool:  my, what a sweet bottom!

“Little”, by the way, would not be an accurate adjective, however suggestive of that aforementioned sweetness.    “Little” would suggest that it is smaller than expected.  It is not, nor is it larger.  April’s bottom is her crowning glory.  It swells from the tops of her legs (themselves an achievement in beauty), like a crescendo in a Bach toccata, or the final fugue in Die Kunst der Fuge.  No words are necessary, only awe, and a reverent silence.

(Gustav Mahler, on seeing this wonder, would no doubt have been inspired to write a new masterpiece:  Das Lied von der Po.)

But, make no mistake, there have been negative elements as well.  Her friends would employ April’s bottom as a weapon against male teachers, and some female.  Seeing such a victim approaching, her friends would move sideways, to give the teacher an unobstructed view of perhaps that one glorious phenomenon that made the experience of teaching the unwilling adolescent worthwhile.

The torments revealed by the teacher as he strove against the temptation to turn and watch April’s progress down the halls…they were wondrous to behold.  Such a man would then be child’s play, easy of manipulation, his awareness lost to that soul-elevating vision.

Which does bring us to now.

April’s bottom is celebration incarnate.  She knows that once seen, it cannot be denied.  She knows that men are nearly paralyzed, made helpless at a glimpse of that dream that makes the heart flutter, the knees weak, and renders all other aspirations futile.

She is always aware that she can escape unwanted attention by casually turning her back, if only for a moment.  The bothersome suitor would be stunned to motionlessness, he would simply stare, and whisper, even the most loutish of them, something romantic, something poetical, something lyrical like “oh…my…gawd!”

Alas, poor April has as yet met no man who can retain his self-control, indeed, his dignity in the face of this vision.  It demands an inner strength and nobility of soul so rare in today’s troubled times.

I must add that even winter, with the sad necessity of long coats, cannot be denied its own magic ceremonies centred upon April’s bottom.  When April enters the coffee shop, there is a momentary intake of breath, as patrons of both genders sneak glances as she approaches her seat.  April stands, pauses, and doffs her coat, and throughout the cafe there are sighs of gratification, changing to quiet chuckles of delight as she stands in line before the counter.

To encounter April’s bottom is to attain to levels of pleasure one formerly only dreamed oneself capable of achieving.  Somehow goodness and mercy become once again realized in this oft-times shadowy world.  April’s bottom is a blessing to all who contemplate it, a clear statement that there is a beneficent guiding force in our universe.  It is miracle, and if it cannot cure ills, it certainly makes them more bearable.  It is one of those magical things that does not compel possession, but simple admiration, almost worship.

Hymns could be written to April’s bottom.  They would seem lame, inadequate.  And words, too, spoken and written, they too fall so, so far short in expression, in explanation, and in celebration.  Even these words.  Yet one feels compelled to try.

And try again.

The Unnamed

I see you cross the room

To me, I think, gasping in the breath,

Hold it now, not noticing, will-less

The sharp uprise of light-headed joy,

Now plunged into dark when you pass

And clutch the arms of another, one, I think

Instantly, unworthy.  How callow is love’s disappointment!

I stand, baffled.  It must be sheer luck,

He surely has no more than I, less, less, of course!

How can you put it off, this passion for me,

And pass it to one who cannot know you,

Not as I do, cannot see your soul, taste your heart?

Beloved, I sometimes become quite despairing,

I confess it, even as you continue to play.  Someday,

We shall spend bright evenings abed discussing  it,

Debating with many a laugh and many a sigh

This long separation we have endured so heroically,

Once we have submitted  to our true destiny.

Now, you arise.  Now, you leave, graceful as a swan in flight,

And I cross the sultry room

To ask who you were.