Fanciful lust

It wasn’t the reek of decay that aroused him — 
death and pestilence 
had been his companions and friends
ever since he crossed those bridges at dusk;
the night of necrosis had seemed eternal 
but now as the sky 

shifted gently from charcoal to pewter,
with the hesitant sun veiled by virulent vapors,
the tantalizing titillations trickling 
through his icicle veins 
filled him with a fanciful lust.

He had traveled from hell into dawn, 
alone with his past — surviving 
and burdened with 
guilt.

Trench Warfare
Otto Dix

Today Peter hosts with a prompt on writing a beginning for a poem at dVerse. The first line should give a great reason to continue reading, and I do not really know why I thought about war today, I have never experienced any except in my nightmares where I sometimes wake up imagining trenches in WWI.

January 28, 2021

25 responses to “Fanciful lust

  1. It was the combination of the title and the opening line that made me sit up, Björn! War poems do tend to grab me by the throat, particularly when they refer to ‘death and pestilence’ as ‘companions and friends’. The alliteration of ‘night of necrosis’ screamed out at me, as did ‘the hesitant sun veiled by virulent vapors’.

  2. This is deliciously dark and sensual, Bjorn 😀 I love the use of color, “but now as the sky shifted gently from charcoal to pewter,with the hesitant sun veiled by virulent vapors,” and the pacing is just perfect! 💝💝

  3. Wow! The title and first line had me in rapt attention. The sensuality of the language make the whole thing get under your skin. Really well done! 🙂

  4. Great opening line – setting, senses and intrigue – and followed up with that grim hellish landscape and the day starting – and just when we’re asking how could anyone cope with such a thing – you take us inside his head -and show the damage of survivor’s guilt. Terrific stuff.

  5. WOW, this is so evocative in the imagery and it’s a stunning war poem. One of the best I’ve read thus far. I loved these lines because of the realities entwined while in war when contrasted to after when the soldier returns home, never the same:

    “the tantalizing titillations trickling
    through his icicle veins
    filled him with a fanciful lust.”

    A fantastic, stirring piece.

  6. Even the clouds seem alive with menace. I like the sky shifting gently from charcoal to pewter as it suggests he’s been watching it closely as “the night of necrosis had seemed eternal…”

  7. Oh, I love this, Bjorn. Aside from the killer first line, I especially like “with the hesitant sun veiled by virulent vapors,
    the tantalizing titillations trickling
    through his icicle veins
    filled him with a fanciful lust.”
    The alliteration in this piece adds a lot. Good stuff!

  8. Most grabbing word in the opening line (for me, anyway) is “aroused”.

    And necrosis is splendid. Your careful vocabularizing pays off big in this one, Bjorn. Well done.

  9. Another very strong piece. War poems are a form in themselves. Have you ever read Brian Turner’s poems in HERE, BULLET? I wrot ea bunch of war poems about Viet Nam. Perhaps a future d/Verse prompt?

  10. At first I wondered if this narrator was even human or alive from the first lines, but as I scrolled down, I realized it was all too real and haunting. A powerful read and picture. 💔

  11. This reminds me of a person who suffered from claustrophobia, after walking over people in a stampede. Recently, he died of Covid, since he was uncomfortable wearing masks. I’m inclined to think the guilt remained with him.

  12. A first line you can’t look away from. So clever to use the imagery of lust in a war poem. I felt the loneliness, hunger and desperation of the lone survivor at the end.

  13. I wasn’t certain how this poem was meant to be taken. The word choices, going from pestilence and decay to fanciful and titillations rather threw me. An ambivalent one.

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