Elemental passion


When seeds awaken, gently from the warmth
of spring, I’m cradled in your growth, in arms
of verdant strength, from soil, from deep below
your breath’s the symphonies of dryad’s charm.


When from the south a breeze you come, bestow
my skin with soft perfume; when curtains flow
and billow, move with air, your hair’s the rose
with petals moving, undulating with your blow.


When from your streams in soft caress, my toes
are tickled, licked by tongues. is kissed, unclothed,
and fill my mouth, with taste as tart as wine
united surface breaking, we are close.


When from the embers flames, our limbs entwined
arise in glow, your heat is weight that binds
our hearts; release us from the chains we wore
before, your flesh is nested into mine.


When afterwards your breath and mine are sworn
with vacuum, from where space and stars are born,
inside the light of aftermath your whisper’s cool
with promises of rain, tomorrow’s storms.

The Kiss by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

This is a reworked rubaiyat I wrote a while back for Frank doing forms at dVerse. Some of the rhymes still feel a bit forced so I’m thankful for any feedback. The idea was to let each of the ruba’i to stand alone while letting the different parts form a unity of passion.
January 31, 2018

30 responses to “Elemental passion

  1. Admiring each rubai, each element, dazzling with warmth, movement and sensory experience.I like the presentation, a change from the interlocking rubaiyat. I will think about the verses and suggest if any seems “forced”.

  2. Excellent tribute to the classic form; FIRE was my favorite, but all five stanzas stand tall and alone.

  3. I read this as being about two guys who have been close since elementary school. In later years, it became physical for them as well.

    I think you should change “perfume” to “cologne.” It would rhyme better anyway. Then I would change “rose” to “prose” and “petals” to “letters.”

    I will email you some more ideas to help tighten it up. This is good. Very good.

  4. I think the poem is beautiful as unity of passion between two people, but I also read it as a human’s passion for living with the gifts of Mother Gaia. It works very well that way also. Will look at it more as time goes on as far as the rhyming…

  5. I like how you broke it into five different parts. Each could stand on their own, yet they all seem to flow together. Rhyming is not my strong skill so I think you did a good job. LOL.

  6. I like the way that you have subtitled each stanza to differentiate each of the four elements and then united the passion in the final stanza with ‘Ether’. I like the progression of the whole and enjoyed reading them as individual poems. It’s a very intimate poem.
    The ‘Earth’ stanza is romantic, with the ‘arms of verdant strength’ and breath ‘’symphonies of dryad’s charm’. In ‘Air, I love the movement. I think you need a comma between ‘you come’ and ‘bestow’. ‘Water’ is the most sensual stanza and ‘Fire’ leaves me feeling warm and comforted. My favourite stanza is ‘Ether’.

  7. I am taken in by the brilliance of your subject matter, Björn. In the water stanza, did you intend for a period mid sentence without a capital following? “tongues. is kissed” ?

  8. I found your segments working very well. I especially liked the last segment. … your heat is weight that binds
    our hearts;
    Passionate love and then comes the storms… so true!

  9. This was splendid Bjorn. Each element extremely well exoressed. I didn’t know ether was part of the elements so I learned something. I was only aware of the four. Wonderful write! I got inspired by this rubaiyat thing and wrote two – one dark, one light.

  10. The only thing I can say here is — this is brilliant! The elements….how the words flow are relate to the elements without “breaking up” or becoming disjointed. And as always, the romance is palpable. Brilliant!

  11. A beautiful write and to me the journey through the elements is very clear – both from the title and from the individual quatrains – so I’d be inclined to omit the sub-titles here 🙂

  12. Bjorn, I was looking at the first two lines. Take a look at this possible shift, with a better rhyme scheme (you asked!) Also included is the origins of carme (particularly the first origin), which would fit right in with your dryad:

    Seeds awaken, held warm within the arms
    of spring. I’m cradled in your growth, Carme

    from wiki:
    Carme is a feminine given name of two separate origins. The first is a Galician and Catalan form of Hebrew karmel, “garden”. The second is from Greek Karmē, whose name means “she who cuts the grain”, from keirein, “to cut”. …

  13. Wonderful to invoke the five elements. Also could be considered quite Pagan, so I half-expected some reference to the Goddess. But perhaps that would be too clichéd.

    In the ‘Air’ stanza, I think ‘with your blow’ is an unfortunate choice as it could suggest a violent blow of hand or fist. Maybe ‘as you blow’? But even that seems not quite right. I think perhaps this is one rhyme you might reconsider.

  14. Interesting! I enjoyed the idea of the coexisting aspects of passion. The painting is a nice addition. I took a moment to look at it after reading each of the ruba’i and my perception and reflection shifted slightly. Nicely done.

  15. The rhyme felt pretty silky smooth to me. I really like this part….”your hair’s the rose
    with petals moving, undulating with your blow.” A sensual masterpiece.

  16. I really liked the enjambment and the repeated “whens” that made this flow–each one separate but entwined (which as I write, makes me think of lovers–so bravo!)

  17. The merging of elements, magical. I like that the series starts with the seeds awakening, and ends with the rain falling. Of course I’m partial to circles…(K)

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