The Pilgrimage

The lover takes leave of his mistress’s mouth
And starts on his pilgrimage, travelling south.
Each stop on his journey he marks with a kiss,
And lingers a moment, prolonging their bliss.

He murmurs a gentle farewell to her ears
As each from the landscape in turn disappears.
He follows his route down her neck to her shoulders,
Restraining his pleasure which restively smoulders.

Her fingers and thumbs are his next destination;
Their gracefulness points to the heart of creation.
He spends an eternity here to explore
Peninsulas lain undiscovered before.

But when to her mainland our pilgrim returns
A ravishing vision his continence earns.
Ascending her breasts as he gazes in wonder
He gasps in delight at their breathtaking splendour.

And then he descends to her bounteous tummy:
A land overflowing with life-giving honey.
He wanders here freely and roams where he will,
Exploring each valley, each undulant hill.

Yet still there’s the call of her beckoning thighs
To which he replies with a million sighs.
Their contours he follows wherever they lead;
Wherever he travels his hunger they feed.

At last though he reaches her shadowy parts,
Whose mystery surpasses man’s cunningest arts,
And here will he stay and their ecstasy build
Till mistress and lover as one are fulfilled.



Paul Martin Freeman is an art dealer in London. His recent book, A Chocolate Box Menagerie, has been published by New English Review Press.

NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets.

The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or commentary.

CODEC Stories:

31 Responses

  1. Paul A. Freeman

    Crikey! I need a cold shower after reading that, Paul.

    Fabulously and tastefully erotic.

    Thanks for the read.

  2. Roy Eugene Peterson

    My retinas were burning as you took us on another one of your “buss” trips.

    • Paul Martin Freeman

      That’s wonderfully witty, Roy. I confess at first I thought the heat had got to your spelling! Thank you.

  3. Joseph S. Salemi

    At last — something sexy!

    It was a bit too tasteful at the end, however. I can imagine a lot hotter conclusion than that final quatrain. But I do detect a cryptic reference for Latinists in your word “cunningest.”

    • Paul Martin Freeman

      I think I was writing a different kind of poem. Please see my reply to James below.

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        This poem was about a SPIRITUAL journey? Huh?

        Man, you really had me fooled. Or maybe it was just a cover story to get around the censors.

      • Mike Bryant

        Paul, I think you wanted your reply here…
        I placed it here by replying to your reply that says:
        “I think I was writing a different kind of poem. Please see my reply to James below.”
        It’s a little awkward at first…
        I love your spiritual poem, by the way.

      • Paul Martin Freeman

        Thank you, Mike, for this explanation. And thanks also for your appreciative comment on the poem.

        I’m glad you feel the poem is spiritual. Whatever we mean by the term, as a minimum we should be able to recognise the quality when it’s present. If you have, then the poem has succeeded.

    • Paul Martin Freeman

      Hello Joe. I’m going to respond to your latest comment tomorrow if that’s alright.

      To the moderator: I don’t seem to be able to post this under Joe’s comment so I’m putting it here. Perhaps you can help?

      • Paul Martin Freeman

        Joe, I think James below has answered the point for me.

  4. Joshua C. Frank

    Wow, quite steamy for a writer of children’s books! I wouldn’t have expected you to write something like this… well done.

  5. James A. Tweedie

    Paul, Maybe it’s just me, but rather than a pilgrimage, your descriptive poem struck me as being more akin to one of those old National Geographic expeditions to unexplored regions with the magazine articles accompanied by black and white photos of tribal women. . .

    • Paul Martin Freeman

      Thank you for commenting, James. Absorbed in his mistress with self forgotten, and with his normal sense of time and space in abeyance, the lover experiences it as a spiritual journey. Thus the title.

      • James A. Tweedie

        Reminds me of St. Bernard of Clairvaux who once preached a sermon series giving a spiritual interpretation to the various kinds of human kisses! As with Song of Solomon, God did not intend for our spiritual and physical natures to be at odds with each other! So, pilgrimage it is!

      • Paul Martin Freeman

        James, I am very gratified that you would write this. Thank you.

  6. David Hollywood

    Certainly stirring, with no chance of distraction taking the reader from the page, and with a much more satisfyingly descriptive and lascivious sense than so much of the vulgar and crass insensitive descriptions usually promoted in these times. Well done.

  7. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Paul, I love this poetic pilgrimage – for me, the poem sings of an exquisite journey that reveals all the heavenly gifts this heady trip has to offer. Erotic… yes! But there’s something more… discovering and understanding those “shadowy parts” of a woman (her fleshly and spiritual traits) are the key to mutual bliss. But, hey, maybe that’s just a woman’s perspective… you know, one of those old-fashioned types with XX chromosomes. Whatever your poem may mean, it’s highly entertaining and beautiful.

    • Paul Martin Freeman

      I’m delighted you liked it, Susan. And I know that, more than most, you’ve suffered for being an “old-fashioned” type. Which makes your judgment, more than that of most, to be valued.

      The value of the wisdom you’ve added here for lovers of women is incalculable.

      Thank you.

  8. Geoffrey Smagacz

    The use of the phrase “cunningest arts” reminds me of Shakespeare when Hamlet, with his head in Ophelia’s lap, says to her, “Do you think I meant country matters?”

  9. Mary Gardner

    Paul, this is a beautiful and blissful offering. The anapestic/amphibrachic meter works perfectly.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Captcha loading...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.