When Love Dies

in #poetry3 years ago (edited)


I stare heavenward.
Above me, a cavernous ceiling.
Above me, all is overcast and grey.
I pass beneath.

I look down at my charge,
her eyes closed,
hands crossed,
white and still.

I ferry us down
the dark river,
to the silent lands,
for safe keeping.

My Lady in White,
you will be safe there.
No Prince Charming will come crashing,
to wake you, to take you, by force.

I look towards the gates,
with their three-headed guardian.
We will be safe,
once I commit you.

I will be safe there.
Life will not come crashing,
to wake me, to take me.

I will be safe there.
Heart closed,
white and still—

for love lies dead.

I usually don't spell these things out, but since I have friends on Steemit who care, I want to note that this piece is not true in the simple terms. My love is doing well. This piece came about as I thought of a hypothetical, and the feelings outlined above came to me. So it is true, in regards to feelings, but untrue as to the veridity of the truth-value of what is described. Such is art.

This is the third piece in "The Dark River" series. The first is "Acceptance", and the second is "The Empty House (i)".

Thanks to @whoshim, @sunravelme, @carolkean, @jrhughes, @liverussian, and @mamadini for providing feedback on this piece.

Check out my latest posts:

art and flair courtesy of @PegasusPhysics

The image used is The Nightmare by John Henry Fuseli, 1781, and is public domain.

© Guy Shalev 2018.


Such a crisp scene you painted. Glad you included the notes, as sometimes it's hard to tell where a person was when they wrote a piece, and worry can follow close on empathy's heels. Really enjoyed this read, perfect on a grey day with a bit of sorrow already in my heart. ;)

This post has been selected for curation by @msp-curation by @sunravelme. It has been upvoted and will be featured in this week's Working Title post. It will also be considered for the official @minnowsupport curation post and if selected will be resteemed from the main account. Feel free to join us on Discord!

Thanks Kara!

A veces se nos ocurren palabras, frases, y oraciones que nos salen en forma de versos, pero en realidad crear poesías es una habilidad o un don que no posee todo el mundo. Me gustaría haber nacido y desarrollado ese maravilloso don, es muy hermoso. Gracias .

Thank you for the kind words :)

And you know, practice makes perfect, as with all things.

Gracias amigo. Nos vemos en la cima

What a great visual poem! I have been down that path and now I know that love didn't die, I just had to find the right one. Thanks for your great work!

Good writing 👍

This is a wonderful piece!

Thank you for the writing notes I was just about to bother you on discord ;) thankfully there is no need :)

Deceptively complex - I love it! The afterlife is a lot less black and white in Greek mythology than most other belief systems - this journey could mean so many things.

It works on the personal/metaphorical level as an exploration your own 'emotional knowledge', rather than truth in reality, as you allude to in your notes. Then it also works on the universal/literal level, the narrator (Charron himself, perhaps?) in fact committing the concept of love to the underworld.

Dark and moody, as these myths so often are, but with real feeling pushing through. It seems pessimistic at first but as I picked up on the references it quickly became more protective, a shepherding of sorts. The underworld is a lot more real and accessible than other cultural afterlives, which provides at least a small ray of hope...

As soon as you've mentioned black and white, I figured out why the piece sends me to Jim Jarmush's "Dead Man" - the pace and the colours!!!! Especially the scene of "going down the river" are felt in the lines:

I ferry us down
the dark river,
to the silent lands,
for safe keeping.

In general the poem seems somewhat gothic to me... with the classic attributes of middle ages such as dragons and castles.

I like the image of Lady in White - light, purity, goddess, appearing in the dark and silence, but "she will be safe there" - that's what the narrator is desperately trying to convince themselves of, safety for both of them, we read those words THREE!!! times. Safety, but what was the danger they're trying to get out of? And the repetition helps us here:

No Prince Charming will come crashing,
to wake you, to take you, by force.
Life will not come crashing,
to wake me, to take me.

I love the repetition of the piece! It serves for many things here: uncertanity, pain, and the main one - the connection between the narrator and their beloved!!!! They're two parts of a whole, connected!

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