N. poeticus

It started with your voice, your shimmering breath
spiraling downward through the water's depth -

calling - so strange! - my name. I rose, undreamed,
and came to you. Across that space it seemed

the world unfolded of itself, a findern
flower, pheasant's eye, the unfilled cistern

of your heart. Then I came upon you, lost,
pitiful - until you saw me there, ghost

of your ghost, shade of your shade, reflection
of your longing. You bent to me, passion

finding mirrored passion, the gloaming coal
of mouth, of lips, of whispered betrothal.

Tethered, as a fevered dowry, to this
our conjugated sin, we pledged our kiss.


  1. This poem was published in Poets & Artists (Goss 183) as part of its special 50th issue edition, Nov 2013.

    "N. poeticus" is the Latin name of the narcissus flower, and the poem is an ekphrastic collaboration with poet Steve Brightman and artist Angela Hardy.

    Process Note:

    Narcissus - youth, reflection, flower - is the legend and thematic basis of the triptych composed of "Tethered" by Angela Hardy, "As Pitiful Dowry" by Steve Brightman, and "N. poeticus" by Samuel Peralta. Angela's startling preliminary painting - two female lovers mirroring each other with an aquamarine iconography - springboarded an online discussion, with Steve undertaking to write a piece from the perspective of the Narcissus figure, and Sam the point of view of the watery reflection. The three shared intermediate drafts, exchanged symbologies and imagistic concepts - picking up echoes from each other's work as each progressed to culmination. This concert birthed a triplet of individual art pieces that move and reflect each other seamlessly, each piece as much in sensuous union as the characters of the myth.

    1. I would love to see all three together!

    2. Thanks for asking... The best rendition, including of the artwork, is in the 'Poets & Arrtists' paperback issue, available via this link from Amazon. There is another link for a digital preview of the issue; I will look for it.

    3. Ah, here is a standalone digital version (the artwork really is much more beautiful viewed in the print version) - Legends (Poets & Artists, Goss183, 2013). The Narcissus collaboration is on pages 57-60.

    4. Here is a low-res digital version - Issuu Edition of Poets & Artists #50. In this edition, the Narcissus collaboration is on pages 73-76.

  2. i love that it starts with her voice... and then the calling you by name...there's so much in a name... identity... being seen...then the things that match...shade of your shade...and the mirroring each other... the complementing each other..the feeling complete...and all that goes with it... really well woven... well expressed emotions as well... love it sam... really..love it

  3. What a wonderful creation Sam. I was reminded of the Narcissus Poeticus -- that Flower of spring that actually smells.. How the stanzas grasp each others like lovers . and that end.. sealed with a kiss.

  4. Ha. A very torrid forbidden love poem. I especially like the rhyme of coal and betrothal! Thank you for writing me about all your wonderful projects. They sound intriguing and terrific. I have been very busy with my job but will check out links. Thanks. K. (Manicddaily)

  5. O! a meeting, a desire, a drowning--depending. Lovely and on edge, indeed.

  6. Just so you know... I've always enjoyed the twist of tradition and professionalism in your work; with a sprinkle of contemporary voice. You truly are one to learn from.Because of your youth, we have much to look forward too as the years melt away.

  7. As always, Sam, you manage to cull beauty and truth from science and form. When I grow up I want to be you.

  8. Sam...
    G-Man here.
    Thank You for directing some of your traffic to Friday Flash 55.
    My goal and purpose of this Meme has always been to encourage new writers, and to help published authors sharpen their skills to be more succinct and less wordy. As you have unselfishly shown, this isn't about ego, it's about giving writers another forum to show their talents. Thanks again, The G-Man is ALWAYS at your service.

  9. Beautiful sonnet Sam ~ I'm always awed by your words ~

  10. really a cool progression in this...from her calling you...to the finding each other...a ghost of your ghost...very visual but also full of feeling...nicely done on the form...

    and i hope you are having a very merry christmas!

  11. so lush in phrasing. And the pow of the gloaming coal of mouth…what a diamond to read. As always, your words, a wonderful read.

  12. Beautiful use of language, as always!

  13. Anonymous4:10:00 AM

    Samuel! I must say I do miss your Facebook posts but I took a leave of absence to the social media world (at least for now)- I'm thankfully finishing up my book project and have been taking care of mundane chores that I have unfortunately been neglecting!! I love love love the term ''undreamed''- I've never come across a synonym of ''awakened'' in such a way ;)- I'm absolutely obsessed!!! So very creative!!! Feel free to browse through my recent babies and provide feedback when you can! (yes, my writings are my babies :)) Hope all is well!! ~Chani

  14. Samuel the words always take flight in your work. Meaning and depth that we constantly appreciate in your poetry!
    Hope all is well ~ Moonie


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