When I Died


When I died, I felt your lips close to mine.
Sweet death, your faint nocturne of musk refined

a serpent song of sleep, of trust, of peace,
a bartering of this life for blessed release.

You breathed me in, and with that breath preserved
what little of my fragile world deserved

eternal life. Embalmed in the amber
of your heart, a precious spark, an ember

flaring bright as my own life in me ebbed.
Until all that was left was in your blood:

my joys, my sorrows, the vagaries
of my dreams, now coursed through your arteries.

Then at last, I felt your lips close to mine,
twilight's pome, oblivion's kiss. And I died.


53 comments:

  1. This is a standalone poem, but also a companion piece to 'The First Deadly Sin'.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Mm..the forbidden fruit line at the end is a bit cliche, but I like the way this works with First Deadly Sin. I can't decide if the speaker is the victim of FDS..or the vampire. Maybe both, at different times.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Familiarity with FDS makes for a richer experience, but this poem can be read independently, since the narrator speaks to someone referred to simply as Death.

    From this perspective, I was thinking along the lines of Emily Dickinson: "Because I could not stop for Death, he kindly stopped for me."

    ReplyDelete
  4. Seductive death, embracing you into the flow. Sexy, and I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
    I have been half in love with easeful Death,
    Call'd him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
    To take into the air my quiet breath . . . .

    ReplyDelete
  6. From Keats' 'Ode to a Nightingale', so appropriate, evoking both the bright and the dark sides of love.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I remember thinking how incredible it was that Keats, just a boy, really, at twenty-four, could sit and contemplate what he must have known was his impending end in that graceful, accepting, even loving way . . . .

    ReplyDelete
  8. I like the cadence here, reinforcing the emotional intensity. A Romantic piece. Reminds me old bards' talk. ;) Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks! 'First Deadly Sin', spoken by a vampire, is an unrhymed sonnet. 'When I Died', spoken by a woman, is a sonnet in rhymed couplets.

    ReplyDelete
  10. If I could choose the way I die, this would be it. Beautifully balanced pentameter. Trochaic?

    ReplyDelete
  11. The twilight reference is especially wonderful. I think the form suits the poem beautifully.

    ReplyDelete
  12. A sensational write of loving in it's deepest form. Love the play on words...

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous6:52:00 AM

    OMG love this xx your such a vampire spinner -of words ..Blessings Tania

    ReplyDelete
  14. This evokes from me,
    enchanting darkness, comfort and sensuality :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Sam, you have a knack for speaking in both male and female voices. The vampire theme seems to have caught you by the heel, and we are all the better for it. Loved the couplets, and the final stanza, with its matter-of-fact ending, "And then I died," was a punch to the gut. Wait until she starts living her new existence, right? Dying to one life, waking to another - one never knows what to expect in that bargain. Great, great writing. Thanks,Amy
    http://sharplittlepencil.com/2012/05/02/driving-lesson/

    ReplyDelete
  16. Very sinister, yet tender melting of thoughts and emotion. A deliriously good read.

    ReplyDelete
  17. The Kiss of Death, well done,though I must confess for me it's a bit hard to take as I was with someone dying earlier this year and the emphasis was very much on last moment of truly living rather than release. That said, it's a very good poem. And an interesting form of sonnet. I tend towards Shakespearean--is there a specific name for this one? K.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Karin, the story in this poem isn't finished yet
      ... Oh, and this is called a Clarian Sonnet, after John Clare.

      Delete
  18. this is really moving man...it makes for a great response to your vampire poem...there is so much unwritten emotion that course through the verse...the giving up of all she is to him...really this is a breathless read....loved it man

    ReplyDelete
  19. i swear i commented on this earlier today...

    this is a really cool form...and a great response as well to your vampire poem...there is so much emotion unspoken...like when she is giving it all up to him....a breath taking piece man...

    and great job at dverse as well...

    ReplyDelete
  20. Beautiful and tragic... the abrupt ending is very effective!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Initially I saw it simply as rhyming couplets.
    Not being familiar with the Clarian form, I dismissed it as a sonnet. But, there's horses for courses...
    The person in your poem certainly 'made a good end' as they say, even though going gently into that good night may not please everyone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As to going gently into that good night, it isn't over yet. The whole cycle is 15 sonnets and a prelude.

      Delete
    2. That is an ambitious project. What sort ot time scale do you envisage for completion of that cycle?
      15 is better than Philip Sidney's [and others' incl. Shakespeare's?] 108 sonnet sets as they did after 1580. I will now go back to the previous sonnet.

      Delete
  22. what a sensual death...wow...love it sam...You breathed me in...this alone gave me enough shivers for a whole week...very cool also in connection with the vampire poem you posted for the prompt last saturday...and great article over at dVerse..

    ReplyDelete
  23. I think this does complete the first poem very well. There is an homage to the other poets mentioned by you and those commenting here. I think the language is modern with a refined and slightly "gothic" feel. All in all it has the texture of a platinum print of cathedral cloisters. Excellent.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Wanted to say 'Thank you' Sam, for introducing us to this particular poet, unknown to me until now. The D'verse page won't accept my comments,so here it is.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Ah, so this is how it's done. I should have read your first! A very vivid and moving write, Mr. Sam!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Sam, what a wonderful thing you are doing for dVerse. This is a testament to your mastery of the form, one I found to be surprisingly difficult...this is just fantastic! You know what they say...I wish I had been the one to write it...

    ReplyDelete
  27. Very nice Sam, the piece itself has a really nice feel to it. Never heard the Clarian Sonnet before, but after reading this, I really believe I probably should have. What intrigues me is how this is connected to the vampire piece, I love the cross referencing and interconnection. Great job. thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely one of those fine examples you come around from time to time when visiting sites, a piece that is ever worthy of multiple readings. Really an excellent piece. Thanks

      Delete
  28. I have to say you are a quiet the poet, full of verses. This was touching with a bit of sadness that i so enjoyed reading.
    http://leahjlynn.wordpress.com/

    ReplyDelete
  29. Ooh, I love this line: "eternal life. Embalmed in the amber"

    ReplyDelete
  30. Very cool seeing this as a response to your First Deadly Sinpiece, Sam--it wasn't at all what I expected, and embraces the metaphysical as much or more than the supernatural. The sensuality is awash with an intellectual shadow, almost as if its the blood of the mind and soul at stake here...(no pun on stake intended.)Lovely piece, and very nicely framed in separated couplets.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Very lovely form Sam...and that last couplet was a powerful close ~

    Thanks for sharing this form with us ~

    ReplyDelete
  32. Sam, your perfect Clarian sonnet gave me a shiver-down-my-spine moment. I say perfect, but I did wonder just a little if "pome" was quite in the spirit of the theme! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Viv, it is!

      'Pome' is a variant, of course, of 'poem' - but also suggests the French word 'pomme' or 'apple'. In that context, 'twilight's pome' then also creates the subtle reference to the original bookcover of Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight", where pale hands are shown offering an apple.

      Delete
    2. What a romantic, truly poetic explanation. Thank you.

      Delete
  33. So lovely to read. You use language I would feel awkward to and yet make it flow so well into the piece.

    ReplyDelete
  34. What a way to go! If only... And what a fantastic read! Thanks for.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I love how you write, Sam. This is absolutely breathtaking (no pun intended).

    ReplyDelete
  36. The last couplet describes le petit mort beautifully..hmmmm!

    ReplyDelete
  37. vampirism in poetic form, with all the musk and stink of death combined with its romance and supernaturalism. The word chices are perfect and the rythm just tap taps away so perfectly. Excellent poem, and thanks again for the education!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thank you, Sam for the great prompt, which your poem illustrates so beautifully. It flows quite naturally and the sentiment it expresses is superb. You certainly have taken the vampire theme to heart, so to speak. I enjoyed this very much.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I'm glad I read you mentioned Emily D. I thought I felt the vibe. I had been working on her stuff in the background for a while trying to capture her voice and reason. I thought I heard some of that. Very nice job.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Great poem, lovely. Death seems not a cruel fate in this poem.

    ReplyDelete
  41. very lovely Sam - drew me in too - sharing breath - that final kiss - consumed - just wow!!!

    ReplyDelete
  42. "a serpent song of sleep"
    just lovely!
    de

    ReplyDelete
  43. kinda hauntingly delicately sweet, really nice!

    really liked,

    "You breathed me in, and with that breath preserved
    what little of my fragile world deserved

    eternal life"

    thanks samuel ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  44. Thanks for all the kind comments!

    The ebook, containing the entire vampire narrative, in fifteen sonnets and a prelude, can be found at this link - "Sonata Vampirica" - for Amazon Kindle, and Kindle for iOS and Android (you'll need the free Kindle app from the App Store or Google/Android Play Store).

    If you purchase the ebook, and like it, please leave a comment on the Amazon page! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for visiting my site, I'm grateful you've taken the time to read. If you liked this selection, you can download a sampler of (or buy!) my books at the following links...

- Sonata Vampirica
- Sonnets from the Labrador
- How More Beautiful You Are
- Tango Desolado
- War and Ablution

...And, if you can, please leave a rating at Amazon.com. It's easy, and it does help a lot.

...Thank you!