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The Lure of Love
after the painting, The Snake Charmer, Henri Rousseau, 1907
June nights late I am transported
To a moist and primitive land
And in its jungle confronted
By strange tethering.
I am mute and robbed of my voice,
I wonder what it would be like
To come back again in another life
To learn a new language.
Our love that was the pearl cocooned
I fear is like the promise cracked
From which the butterfly goes,
Too delicate, too short lived.
The child is aborted,
The insect screaming,
The bird caged.
Under glass I am drowning.
The mind is decayed.
I am searching and swayed.
It is no good that I am held by you.
I long to open wings
Soaring far above, away!
It is that I must know
The piercing wind –
The pang of missing you
The price of freedom
That might strike me dead.
In the painting she stands –
Despite her breasts masculine,
Playing flute and charming snakes
From the undergrowth, wearing a hood,
Immersed in shadow, perhaps after all
A snake woman herself.
Here the trees are dark green and black.
Wild roses have returned wheels in time.
Beads of rains cling to grasses.
I am empty until you fill me whole as a moon.
Your warmth is in the pink of the setting sun.
Dark land this is and my heart a leaf.
Please note submissions for our Poem of the Week segment is currently closed — a new call for submissions will be issued in April. We are currently accepting submissions to our regular features: MONOGRAPH (a group of poems by a single author) and New Voices (poets aged 18-30 who have yet to publish a full collection).
Please read the full requirements on our Submissions page, before sending your work.