You were watching me from elsewhere,

Your quest plainly one pre-planned,

Tried to test my resolution,

When you proffered your hand.


A breath-taking temptation,

Yet it never was my plan,

To toy with your affections,

For I was back then a wiser man,


Now blessed here in my torment,

A would be libertine,

Bedevilled by my demons,

Enlivened in my dreams.


The cross you bare is crooked,

Made of just distorted ply,

No nails, no scope for torture,

No hymns, just lullaby’s.


I still think of your offered hand,

Knowing had I grasped it I would die,

In a place you named Shangri-la,

Where you have long since lived out your lie.


I am gratified that I ignored you,

That I never took succumbed to brazen bait,

That I never walked your garden path,

Never got beyond your gate.


Others will grieve alone one day,

Yet true lovers never lose,

Tangled up in timelessness,

Are the painter and his muse.


Your wretched canvass now adorns,

The palace of your knights,

You had a saint awarded you,

One day that saint took flight.


You the sacrificial skeleton,

Glad I never knew your kiss,

I sit at no person’s right hand,

You possess nothing that I miss.


Still I wander in the wilderness,

A place that consumes me so,

In my frozen adolescence,

Of your memory I can’t let go.



  1. “Tangled up in timelessness are the painters and his muse” I just love that! And I especially liked stanzas 3 and 4!! I love the way you so brilliantly captured the what ifs of youth!

    1. Oddly I with my wife now allergic to red wine I forgot that I have long since been allergic to my most favourite thing ‘garlic’ when cooking a Sag Aloo last evening. The net result was that feeling ill all night and never getting any sleep because of the (for these isles at least) the mother of all storms I have had no sleep since Thursday – so where my scribblings led me I haven’t a single clue! Yet thank you so much for your comment.

      1. Oh no! Well I guess what they say is true. The more uncomfortable you are the better the muse likes it. I usually write best when I have a sinus headache! Now if only I could develop an allergy to wine and garlic, who knows what heights I’d be able to reach! Seriously though, Mike, that is weird that you and your wife have suddenly developed these allergies. It really does make one wonder what is going on with the environment!

      2. My garlic one has been running for years now – I think it was only that I had engrossed myself in Indian cooking that I forgot. Poor Shirley however has been stricken down with the red wine one very recently which is such a shame for whilst she does not drink masses of red she does – or did – enjoy it very much! By the way, you realize you’ve just come out with yet another sentence not often heard namely, ‘I write best when I have a sinus headache’ – love it!

      3. Oh poor Shirley. Can she drink white wine, I hope? It’s weird how you can develop an allergy overnight like that.

        I got acupuncture for my sinus headaches and my writing’s never been the same since. 😉

      4. Jury is out on white wine – she tried a glass last night and got a rash! Doesn’t look good. She’ll have to give up – they say the first 20 years are the worst! I had acupuncture once for a frozen shoulder and it cost a mortgage; didn’t work either! Best of luck.

  2. This is excellent Mr. Steeden! I find the photo you’ve opted to use for the piece enhances the mood the poem evokes. And I’m left at the end wondering whether the subject should be viewed as guilty or non-guilty? Terrific output!!

    1. Thanks for the comment – I guess in life there should be no winners or losers; but then I used to play a lot of cricket, in game in which a ‘draw’ is often seen as a good result! Thanks again.

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