Heights of Passion

Passion flowers white and purple
Bloom where tendrils curl and cling
To the overhanging myrtle
Sheltering my garden swing.
Scents befitting distant tropics
Catch the senses unaware,
Lingering like sweet narcotics
For the swinger, high on air.

Rise and fall like waves on ocean
Moves the swing, and my heart too,
From the sight of grace in motion,
And the perfume drifting through.
This must count as hypnotism
Of the very first degree,
Though I bear no criticism,
As her art entrances me!

When the back-and-forth decreases
I awaken from my trance,
Seeing that which never ceases:
Smiles to move, and eyes that dance!
Never have I felt such passion,
Interwoven like the vine,
With a fragrance sure to fashion
Greater heights through each incline!



David Watt is a writer from Canberra, the “Bush Capital” of Australia. He has contributed regularly to Collections of Poetry and Prose by Robin Barratt. When not working for IP (Intellectual Property) Australia, he finds time to appreciate the intrinsic beauty of traditional rhyming poetry.

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22 Responses

  1. Cheryl Corey

    David, this is absolutely lovely. I have a miniature orange tree that I keep pruned to about three feet tall, (some thirty years old – it comes inside for the winter) and when it comes into bloom, the scent is heavenly. Is the passionflower similar?

    • David Watt

      Thank you very much Cheryl. Our banana passionfruit have just appeared in our garden, probably seeded by birds. The vines tend to spread too much, requiring regular weeding. On the plus side, the scent is intensely perfumed.
      Our winter is no problem for this kind of passionfruit.

  2. Russel Winick

    I second Cheryl’s observation. Great stuff, David. I will read and enjoy it again as I walk through a forest preserve filled with wildflowers later today.

  3. Roy E. Peterson

    I can imagine the fragrance and the sight of someone special on the swing mesmerizing me.

    • David Watt

      Thank you Russell and Roy for your comments. The fragrance of flowers definitely has the ability to enhance Life’s best memories.

  4. Margaret Coats

    David, this poem is splendid at clearly but discreetly conveying erotic passion through sensory symbolism and description of motion. The effect takes great skill in the poet, and it is not easy to maintain for so many lines, with words and wordplay that are beautiful even on the simple garden scene level. The upward ending pushes the limits of creative possibility, but you have the swing to achieve it. Great work!

  5. Paul Freeman

    Some very vivid and memorable imagery.

    Thanks for the read, David.

  6. James A. Tweedie

    I can see and smell and feel the moment.

    And I can dream of what it all might be as a metaphor for something that inclines me upwards towards a “greater height.”

    This is a swing more akin to Jacob’s ladder than it is to one pictured in a scene by Fragonard.

    You have painted a beautiful picture and I thank you for it.

    • Margaret Coats

      Combining passion flower and myrtle symbolism leads to great heights artistically. Both mean passionate love. The passion flower suggests love and willingness to suffer, pointing toward Christ as well as the personal sacrifices in marriage. The overhanging myrtle is love and marriage in Greek myth, and in European traditions for bridal crowns and bouquets.

      • James A. Tweedie

        Margaret, I was aware of the passion flower as a symbol for Christ’s passion but was not familiar with the symbolism of the myrtle. All very interesting as we create living poetry from the ordinary things in the world that touch our hearts and minds with deeper feelings and thoughts and become poetry in and of themselves as they point us to God, to Christ, and to love.

      • David Watt

        Margaret, your comments are always detailed and most welcome.
        Initially, I hadn’t realised the full extent of symbolism in choosing to combine myrtle with passion flower. You are, of course, right in saying that myrtle is significant in the Christian tradition, Greek myth, and as a symbol of love and fertility, is used in European bridal adornments.

    • David Watt

      James, I really appreciate your Jacob’s ladder reference in relation to the swing. The viewer in the poem is surely dreaming heavenly thoughts, and the upward movement of the swing is helping to lead him there.

  7. Brian Yapko

    This is a wonderful poem, David! It’s full of lush, sensual imagery which makes me long to visit some tropical paradise.

    • David Watt

      Brian, I was fortunate in combining a number of senses in this poem, and to have movement as a unifying force. I have always liked the lushness and scents of the tropics. Banana passionfruit makes for some sort of substitute here in more temperate climes.

  8. Jeff Eardley

    David, thank you for a very special poem today, the perfect antidote to the evil going on just over the water from here. Great rhyming and imagery, which for me is what poetry is all about. I really enjoyed reading this. Thank you.

    • David Watt

      Jeff, we do continue to need an antidote to evil these days. I’m so glad you enjoyed this ‘uplifting’ poem.

  9. Mal Beveridge

    A really good poem David. Thoroughly entrancing from different perspectives. I’ve always supposed that it is up to the reader to interpret the intimate condensations of the poet and in doing so to bring the artform to its proper purpose. This poem achieves that purpose with distinction. Thank you.

    • David Watt

      Mal, I am delighted that you found my poem to have achieved its intended purpose. Thank you very much.

  10. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    David, this delight on heights of passion sings with seductive rhythm and sensual intrigue. Its exquisite and erotic imagery have me craving an afternoon romp in the flowerbed. I love it with a passion!

    • David Watt

      Thank you so much Susan. ‘… with a passion’ is a particularly witty response.

  11. Norma Pain

    A perfectly beautiful poem with perfect rhyme and meter. I hope that I may copy and paste it into my file of perfectly beautiful poems, of which I now have many, thanks to SCP. Thank you David.

    • David Watt

      Norma, I would be honored if you copy and file my poem. Thanks for your appreciation.


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