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The Poet

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
This was originally a couple of poems already published here. I wanted to embed them into a storyline. And this is it. Image by Alexas Fotos from Pixabay. 900 words.

Submitted: September 16, 2019

A A A | A A A

Submitted: September 16, 2019



He was away again. Some business trip to Rome or Singapore or somewhere. We stole away on Saturday morning, driving in the Poet's ancient 2CV. It's a long way to St. Malo in the chilly spring. Especially in such an affectation of a car.

We walked the walls of the seaside town, a bohemian couple. We watched the gulls: effortless in a cloudless sky.

It was warm in the sun.

We ambled together, bathed in an erotic haze; sometimes he'd put his arm around my shoulders, hug me close. There were few abroad to note our sexual chemistry; our every coupled movement charged with leashed desire.

Too early in the season; the sands were quite deserted.

In the hotel, later, before we went to bed, he showed me the poem he'd created.

So Many Years

So hand in hand we walk the promenade
A tepid sun hangs in a cloudless sky
It's warm here in this little space we've made
But colder for the people going by.

The seaside here in early season's May:
The toilets locked, the walls deserted too
The car parks empty, who would want to pay?
The town wants tourists; me, I just want you.

I steal a glance, I see you, fierce and strong
Curious, happy, avid eyes that shine
I brush your palm, admire your body’s form
So restless, fickle, dangerous, risky .. mine.

So many years we've patterned our affaire
Hilarity, stupidity, it's true.
You’d think by now I’d know you, be aware
Yet every second you seem someone new.

We wonder if perhaps we’ll get a snack
The shops are shut, the tide is out, it's no big deal
I spread your fingers with my own, you squeeze me back
If we had time and space I'd make it real.


And, as the clock struck midnight, we proceeded to make it real.


Later that year, in July, I was at a conference in Barcelona. It was held in a seafront hotel overlooking the port, not far from La Rambla. The Poet was able to join me - he said he could work anywhere.

Not such a holiday for me. The conference was hard work. I had presentations to give, people to see, a workshop to present: the transition to IPv6.

There were evening sessions, dinners with contacts. I would sometimes see him in the coffee bar or the atrium with its view of the sea. He’d be working away intensely on his laptop.

At the end of another hard day I was happy just to sink into the Catalan night. The Poet was bored; I would be ready for sleep.

On the last day, when I woke up, of the Poet himself there was no sign.

Only this histrionic poem left on the table.


I see your hair strewn awkwardly across your face.
Your eyes flick faintly underneath their sleepy lids.
Your breath comes gently through your parted lips.

I see your breasts uncovered by their wrapping cloth
Soft targets of my tongue and teeth in days now old.
Your browned midriff lies bare and, silently rehearsed,
my two hands seem to span and touch and hold.

Your skirt is short, draped artlessly across your naked thighs.
Memories of possession come to me. So many times!
For two weeks now you have repulsed my every move.
If this had been our first shared time,
You would be written off by now.
A pathway growing cold.

I wallow in frustration, thoughts askew.
Compulsive need a force I can’t subdue.
I want you now with lust and love but can’t have you.

In truth my passions are all meaningless,
A primal lust, intruding into consciousness.
Abandon this, perhaps seek someone new?
Feed desire with desperate girls to woo?
Empty pleasures, wasted time and money too.

The answer to this crisis? End it here.
My pattern turned to drifting dust without a care.
But such an act must not imply intent
It must be made to look like accident.


What is it about artistic types?

I opened the big glass doors and stepped out onto the balcony. We were high, eight storeys. I could see the pool below, surrounded by plastic recliners warming in the already-scorching morning sun.

There was some kind of commotion down there. For a moment I thought of the final lines of the poem. Had my Poet ‘slipped’ off this ledge to fall to his very doom on the harsh white slabs below?

But no, it was just the Germans, released now from the hotel to grab their sunbeds before the British could arrive.

I turned back and quickly wrote my own addendum to the Poet’s lament.

I see you, hovering there, just out my sight.
You really are a very simple soul
When you at planet Earth alight.

Feed you, clothe you, listen to you, stroke you, sleep with you.
You’re happy, then, to live inside your brain.
I see you now, great puppy, wanting sex.
And if I gave it, you’d be quite content again.

And why should I? It is my schedule too.
And I have better things to do
Than cope with tiresome baths and other people’s sheets.

No dear. Hold to your needs, we’ll be home soon.
One night and all this angst you’ll soon forget.
And I can live off these industrious weeks
For quite a few months yet.


My far-from-suicidal Poet joined me for breakfast. The creative mind had required an early walk along the front: where the uncleared litter, the immigrants sleeping under palm trees and the lonely slap of wave on rock could bracket his frustration.

© Copyright 2019 AdamCarlton. All rights reserved.

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