Someone Drew A Line

the circles of hell tighten around your waist,
swirling winds unfasten the last of your hesitation,

you cannot resist the ragged breath of a punishing gale,
you unfold in its vortex as helpless as the original sin,
the forbidden is warm in its proximity,
the error intoxicating in its carnal blush,

someone drew a line,
someone shifted the shadows of right and wrong,
someone moved the gates of paradise,
someone turned love, in a game of chinese whispers, to lust,

eager, the inferno bends its mouth,
the heat shifts slowly, unhesitating, down your soul.

Sandro Boticelli: Chart of Hell


For the Poet’s United midweek motif: Lust.  Also linking to the Tuesday Platform at Toads.

53 thoughts on “Someone Drew A Line

    1. Wow.. so interesting that you got that from the poem..wasn’t thinking politics and partition… but am intrigued by what the poem brought to your mind! Thanks Vandana.


  1. kaykuala

    the forbidden is warm in its proximity,
    the error intoxicating in its carnal blush,

    It is wise Rajani, to be mindful of those acts that are supposed to be avoided. Providence has willed it such!



  2. You created a whirlwind of feelings here – the helplessness when caught tightly by carnal passion, the way it can hurt but you are pulled in anyway. Lust feels like a heady drug trip with the nastiest of crashes looming just out of sight.


  3. The line “someone turned love, in a game of Chinese whispers, to lust” aptly describes a shift that seems to have taken place. Though I do know love still is alive and well.


    1. The prompt led me straight to Dante. That’s a great image by Blake..thanks Bjorn. I’m not a big believer in hell or the afterlife, but based on our own versions of right and wrong, perhaps the consequences are faced right here.. or maybe some just get away, unpunished! Who can tell if it is all fair?


  4. Dante brilliantly mapped the gravity and gravitas of love and life on earth — who knew though that heaven would be found down there, at our worst, the heart born and thriving in the Devil’s squeezed-out wurst … Who moved the line? Lucifer? Or our fatal inclination toward first lights?


  5. Ooo, that last line rings true–literally–and also invokes a snake slithering down the soul. I’m wondering if the soul can handle a little cooking, especially in youth? I keep forgetting, that as far as sex is concerned, the freer love of the 1970s shifted to more restrictive than before when AIDS reared its ugly head. Some of us have “guilty secrets” in a living and lonely hell; some have a glint in our eyes from this carnal plain. I think I have a little of both. And as for as other lusts are concerned, it’s possible that early training strengthens evil. Your poem hits a nerve and vibrates there. Love it!


    1. In repressive, conservative societies, I think it comes with very negative connotations… maybe we need to rework those lines and definitions and straitjackets and allow conversations to happen so all lust is not broadbrushed into some forbidden corner.


    1. Thanks Sarah… the prompt led me straight to Dante…goodness knows why! But both love and lust must have mutated into different things from what I imagined as a kid!!! 🙂


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