Donations are essential to keep Write Out Loud going    


O, where roams your delicate soul

Does it yet travel the seas

                gliding afar with the Arctic tern

                or is its delight in quieter waters

                in dappled river pools or streams

Is it content to rest in the cool damp shade of the willow

watching minnows play

                diving among the nymphs

                and sacred lotus


Empty are the ways

I no longer see you

                as I walk the glades alone

When our world was young

                craving love I was Hylas

Following where you led

                a lustrous blaze in the sun

                a beckoning

                and I was lost


Oh Atthis, I long to hold you

                to feel your soft warmth

                the touch of your lips

                our passion

Your body brings me calm



ἀλκυών: Halcyon = Alcedo (Latin)

Atthis: A beautiful young woman of Lesbos

Alcedo atthis: river kingfisher


Alcedo atthisAtthiscalmdesireHalcyonHylasKingfisherlosslovepassion

◄ A dream itself is but a shadow

Danger! No Swimming ►


Profile image

Chris Armstrong

Wed 14th Feb 2018 10:58

Hi Colin, Thanks! Hylas in Manchester was one of the starting points! Such a fuss in Manchester about a few flower fairies - did you know that the genus for water lilies is Nymphaeaceae!!!

<Deleted User> (13762)

Wed 14th Feb 2018 09:26

beautiful and well worth Googling the notes to gain a better understanding of all the interwoven elements. Worth also finding Hylas seduced by the Nymphs by John William Waterhouse or as one art critic described them as 'trollops in the pond'. Manchester Art Gallery recently took down the picture for a short time as part of a discussion on race, gender and sexuality. 'Hylas was chosen because the painting has been a barometer of public taste since it was painted in 1896 and continues to be so.' Fair enough. I'll stop waffling. Great poem Chris. All the best, Colin.

If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message