Love and Loss: Poems for Viktoria Sokoli




I once loved a girl called Viktoria Sokoli
With eyes of the colour of spinach and broccoli.
Her skin was as soft and as smooth as a peach;
Her breasts left me utterly robbed of all speech.

Her thighs were as milky as fine alabaster,
And touching her, oh, how my heart would beat faster!
But nothing could ever compare with the bliss
Of feeling her lips on my own when we kissed.


I once had a girl called Viktoria Sokoli;
She’d lie in my arms and I’d cradle her tenderly.
I’d find in those moments, unburdened of care,
The beauty and absolute stillness of prayer.

But then she’d move closer and whispering gently
Declare that she loved me and kiss me intently.
And in such delights and such pleasures I’d spend
My days with this girl I thought never would end.


I once knew a girl called Viktoria Sokoli
Who used to torment me with jealousy constantly.
She liked to provoke me with lists of her lovers,
Forever recalling the names of her others.

Yet all this I see now was merely a show
That Vicky the strength of my feelings might know.
If only to anger I’d not been a slave
I’d be with my darling and not in my grave.



Viktoria Sokoli stood at the door
And stared at the puddle of rain on the floor.
She walked to the bedroom and sat there alone
To wait for her lover who’d said he would phone.

She waited and waited; the call never came.
Each day it was always exactly the same.
The desolate stillness turned hours into years
As always she’d struggle to hold in the tears.

Her lover had left her one terrible night:
They’d quarrelled and had the most desperate fight.
But then in the morning he’d rung to say sorry;
He’d call her that evening: she wasn’t to worry.

But that was the last time that ever they spoke,
Or ever his face she would tenderly stroke.
For then came the silence that never would end
As never again would she see her best friend.

Viktoria Sokoli sits on the bed,
Alone with her grief and the pain in her head.
Her world is so bare and unbearably sad:
She wonders if this is how people go mad.

Viktoria Sokoli lies down to sleep,
Resisting again the temptation to weep.
Tomorrow perhaps he will call after all.
She closes her eyes and caresses the wall.



Paul Martin Freeman is an art dealer in London. The poem is from The Bus Poems: A Tale of the Devil, currently in preparation. His book, A Chocolate Box Menagerie, is published by New English Review Press.

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13 Responses

  1. Paul Freeman

    Welcome to the Twilight Zone, Paul.

    I enjoyed both ‘Love’ and ‘Loss’. They conveyed much emotion and rattled along with ease of readability.

  2. Paul Martin Freeman

    Thank you, Paul. I realise I’m trespassing in your world. In future I’ll use my full name. Sorry for the intrusion.

    • Paul Freeman

      No problem, Paul. The more the merrier. Maybe Paul Freeman, the actor from Raiders of the Lost Ark and Hot Fuzz can join us!

  3. Paul Martin Freeman

    Thank you so much for publishing this, Evan.

    You could not have found a more utterly beautiful and fitting painting for the subject. I am honoured.

  4. Sally Cook

    Dear Paul –

    Your poems have the odd twist of the doubly talented; I suppose you may also be afflicted, as I am, with synethesia !

    Just as you are art dealer and poet, I am both poet and artist, and publish often on this site. Evan Mantyk has kindly kept the virtual tour of my most recent exhibit here for those who are interested.

    I intend to look up more of your woek. Thank you for sharing your interesting poem .

  5. Roy Eugene Peterson

    I applaud dividing love and loss into two subsets of the same poem. As a Russian and East European scholar, I note that the name Sokoli is derived from the Albanian name for “Falcon.” Love and loss of love are subjects that never go out of style in my own estimation and compose some of the greatest poetry throughout history. Yours seems to be conceived by a personal love and loss that appeals to the hearts of readers. In any case, I can empathize deeply with your feelings so preciously portrayed.

    • Paul Martin Freeman

      Thank you, Roy. This is praise indeed! And Viktoria Sokoli is indeed an Albanian name.

      Viktoria (both spellings) is a very popular name there where Britain’s Queen Victoria is much admired!

  6. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Paul, I have thoroughly enjoyed this love and loss series of well-crafted poems. I particularly like the way the jovial lilt of the meter is in direct contrast to the melancholic mood that swims beneath the surface of love’s melody. It has a ring of Poe about it. Nicely done!


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