Wednesday, 29 November 2017


“A loving heart is the truest wisdom.” - Charles Dickens

In Midweek Motif this week, in the Poets United poetry blog, the theme is: “Bittersweet”. Here is my poetical offering: 

Sweet Bitterness 

The wine you offered, Love,
Was ruby-red, sweet muscat;
A fine vintage with a rich bouquet,
A velvet taste that lingered on the palate,
But the aftertaste, so bitter!

The kiss I took from you, Love,
Was fragrant, fruity, dulcet:
From lips so red, and smiling,
A kiss so freely given, remembered evermore,
And yet the aftertaste, so bitter!

Your softly-spoken words, Love,
Honeyed, soothing, like balsam!
My ears unstopped, to hear, to listen,
Words full of harmony, like music
But their echoes, a cacophony.

The soft caresses, Love,
We gave each other liberally,
Cloud-soft, candied, pleasant,
Soothed away all pain, healed all wounds;
And yet, they left deep aching scars in their wake.

You are a sweet bitterness, Love,
You enchain us all with gossamer,
You wound with feathers and you heal with thorns;
You nourish us with mellow poison
And we starve when we have surfeit of it.

Love, you’re contrary, and your steadfastedness
Betrays all trust, punctures all boats of hope;
You lift us up to heaven, only to dash us down to Tartarus,
You give us strength, only with silken threads
To captivate and weaken us, making of us in our death, immortals.


  1. Yes love has all these, sweetness as well as bitterness. Well put. & "You wound with feathers and you heal with thorns;" my favorite line.

  2. I did not expect the "immortals" after the bittersweet tone and images! I shut down sadly, but then opened with surprise! It does take experience for us to learn how worth it love can be, how--if steadfast--the final move is triumph.

  3. What a ride!! i guess Love does have ferris wheel qualities making us even stronger whence feet are back on the ground

    much love...

  4. Who needs the bitter to forego the whole experience and just sit on the sand at the water's edge eating watermelon staring into the waves .

  5. Ah, it does seem that many things that are sweet initially become bitter in the end. Hopefully for some...the sweetness does linger on!

  6. This love poem was so exquisite and refined I felt wonderful reading it to myself. thanks for the beauty.

  7. Nicholas, I believe this is one ofyour finest poerms. I love it. Especially "You are a sweet bitterness, wound with feathers and you heal with thorns", and the puncturing of the boats of hope. Wonderful writing!

  8. A vivid portrayal of the bittersweet qualities of love. Bravo!

  9. What a stunningly beautiful poem this is Nicholas. Sadly love in the end hurts and yet we are no wiser for that message.

  10. Absolutely stunning! Perfect taste of bitter and sweet. Your 5th stanza just knocked me out.

  11. Ah, the contradictions of love. And isn’t that what keeps it interesting.