La Petite Mort

On the back seat of a car, in a secluded clearing,
with the theme song from ‘Local Hero
playing on the stereo, two people
couple with such intensity
that for a moment the forest falls still;

the woodpecker pauses in his drumming,
wood-nymphs cover their eyes
and their ears with their wings,
and a robin, nearest to the scene,
begins to doubt his own ability.

Meantime, a sparrowhawk,
searching for other prey, looks down in wonder,
wonders if, for those two people,
life will ever be the same again, then swoops
to change the life of a coal tit for ever.


31 Responses to “La Petite Mort”

  1. I like this one, David. Great control of the language and touches of humour that raise a smile! 🙂

  2. Katherine Says:

    d this David.. we have no idea how deeply we impact when we move into relationships..

  3. David,

    Very clever. It is good know you are in a pleasant mood and happy with your life.

    You are a poet of many talents and voices. I really enjoyed the smile I got from this poem. And, as is expected of a David Agnew poem, a little lesson on the side. Yes, the quickest fling can change your life forever, or at least the way you look at it.

    I didn’t realize you prim and proper British were familiar with our ritual of “parking”–must be the Irish coming out in you. *grin* I am remembering your poem about a certain seagull visitor. Now who is the voyeur? 😀

    Well, this is going to completely mess with my head when I go for a walk in the woods. 🙂

    Much enjoyed, and much love to you,

    • belfastdavid Says:

      *Big Smile*

      Thank you Shirley,

      Now why would you think that only in America do people “park” their cars!! The difference is that in this country our cars are smaller than yours which leads to a more imaginative approach *Grin*

      I am smiling at the thought of the look in your eyes the next time you go walk in the woods 🙂

      You take good care of yourself
      With much love

  4. Christine Lanham Says:

    A wonderful write, I enjoyed it immensely , puts things into perspective.

  5. Hi David,

    *smile* I do love your cheekiness and your voice in this poem. I love how you’ve meshed the greater natural world with the small universe of these two people. Oblivious to their actions impacting on anyone or anything but themselves.
    I appreciate the outside perspective. Having neighbours close by now, it reminds me of my reminder to myself “Shhh…you never know what people are hearing!” *LOL*
    You’ve painted a wonderful metaphor for that life changing moment.
    I really enjoyed this. 🙂

    Wishing a really happy and smile filled week.

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Hi Tikarma,

      I felt when I put this up that you would enjoy it and am delighted that you have confirmed that feeling – it was written with a smile on my face. 🙂

      And you leave me with a smile on my face at your reminder to yourself!! 🙂

      Thank you

      You have a smile filled week too. We both will if we choose to 🙂


  6. Nice contrasts in this one 🙂

  7. christine Says:

    This is just lovely David *smile*.

    “Well crafted” is the phrase that comes to mind! Doesnt really sound like me does it!!

    I am sure you are delighted with this, and I am delighted fior you.

    With lots of love and a big hug



    • belfastdavid Says:


      Thank you Christine,

      “Well crafted” is a lovely compliment. When I am pleased with a poem I enjoy putting the effort in to making it appear on the page exactly how I want it to appear. This poem was worth that effort. 🙂

      (((Big Hug))) back to you

      With lots of love

  8. nice analogy. the small death ……… thought it was going to be a little more risque … but in good taste as always

    (one of your best, btw)

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Thank you Eileen,

      I figured that the title might draw people in – expecting a risque poem!! 🙂

      And I appreciate your btw 🙂



  9. As always, a darned good poem! The whole thing swoops down on the reader like that sparrowhawk. I can’t imagine that the couple in car ever noticed!
    Let’s have some more ‘nature’ poems!

  10. Wow this one is so clever 🙂 ” two people couple ” it took me a while to understand 😳 yeah those birds, what must they have been thinking 🙂
    And what a coupling it was: “The forest fell still” now that is amazing 🙂

    • belfastdavid Says:

      *Big Smile*

      I am glad you worked out the meaning Ina – sort of essential to enjoying the poem. I do feel that the use of any other word would have let down the poem 🙂

      And yes “the forest fell still”, but as John said the couple in the car never noticed!!! 🙂


  11. Very clever, indeed! I like it. I get a very vivid image in my head.

  12. Vera Hazelgrove Says:

    I like the poem very well, but I have a different feeling about it,-
    unless the word means something different in English usage, though I could not find any reference to it.

    “wood-nymphs cover their eyes
    and their ears with their wings, ..”
    – it seems to me that the “little dead” is not only the coal tit but also something inside a person (the “la” in the title points to “female”), and I am not implying the loss of dignity.

    But don’t mind me, it’s probably because I’m so ancient and
    a hopeless romantic siding with the wood nymphs 🙂

    I wish you a good week
    and may your muse inspire you to more!

    with Love
    Vera & Karley

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Hi Vera,

      I was using the term la petite mort as in the following definition from Wikapedia –

      La petite mort, French for “the little death”, is a metaphor for orgasm.
      More widely, it can refer to the spiritual release that comes with orgasm or to a short period of melancholy or transcendence as a result of the expenditure of the “life force”,

      I was using the contrast in the last line of the “little dead” to “la grande mort” if you like.

      I hope that makes sense 🙂

      As for wood nymphs – when I took this pom to the Writers’ Circle there was a divide in the room between the romantics who loved the wood nymphs and the others (shall we call them miseries?) who would have removed those lines completely.
      I guess I am firmly on the side of the romantics 🙂

      I hope your weather is allowing you to weave.
      You have a good week too.
      With love

  13. Wow, I was swept away with this one!! it, was magic!! You, are magic!! bug Hugs, David!!

    • belfastdavid Says:

      I was hoping you would read this one Sandy.

      I just knew you would enjoy it 🙂

      And delighted to be able to read your poetry on FaceBook

      Big Hugs to you too

  14. Oh my…be still my beating heart. This is simply wonderful, David – and I’m definitely with your ‘romantics’ when it comes to the wood-nymphs.

    • belfastdavid Says:

      *Big Smile*

      Thank you Nick – something to think about perchance the next time you are walking the dog through the woods!!! 🙂


  15. […] tinkerbell Lies Dying tinkerbell I dedicate this poem to Belfast David, a supporter of fairies and wood nymphs everywhere. I hate technology yet how can I live without […]

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Thank you Cathy,

      I am honoured and delighted.

      The fairies and wood nymphs are still with us even in this time of technology!!! 🙂


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