Kissing Beneath Wood Smoke and Stars

Those first kisses beneath wood smoke and stars
will stay with us forever, exploding with capricious
piquancy that still lingers, effervescent in our mouths.
The drought had broken like an ocean wave,
a tang of North Sea air, ice-cold and delicious,
and all we wanted was to drown in our embrace,
heartbeats echoing, rhythmic and auspicious,
lost in wood smoke kisses, stars and space.

Kim M. Russell, 21st February 2023

Le Baiser by Carolus Duran, 1868

This Tuesday I am hosting Poetics at the dVerse Poets Pub with belated Valentine’s kisses, supported by poems from Fleur Adcock, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sarah Teasdale and Sylvia Chidi.

However the inspiration for the prompt came from a programme on BBC Sounds, which explored the craft of writing a kiss, and described it as “both the hardest thing to write a poem about, but also the most like a poem experience”.

I know it’s a week too late for Valentine’s Day, but we can write about kissing any and every day of the year if we want to!


50 thoughts on “Kissing Beneath Wood Smoke and Stars

  1. This is absolutely gorgeous, Kim! 😍 I especially love this image; “The drought had broken like an ocean wave, a tang of North Sea air, ice-cold and delicious.” ❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I read this before the prompt went up & thought, “Oh, crap; I’ll never write anything this good.” My effort’s far more meager but, after all, one kiss is as good as the next, eh?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your poem reminds me of a champagne flute – filled with sharp bubbles and yet a subtle undertone of sweetness. The contrast and juxtaposition of breath-taking human emotion – want, need, desire, curiosity – the demands in the expectancy – yet the tickling hesitations. I very much like the setting in this – the expanse of the magnificent and majestic – the sense of grandeur and space so delicious for the suggestion.

    Thanks for hosting Kim 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Who needs Valentine’s Day to arbor and altar a first kiss? That swooning brush with intimacy here invites in a ripened world – wood smoke and stars, the tang of North Sea air – and makes a brush of lips a reliquary for life. How lush!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. First kisses under wood smoke and stars reminds me of summer camp and other kids wandering off into the cover of trees. That yearned-for first kiss didn’t happen for me there, but when it did, it was, at least, under the stars–but the only fire was in the kiss. A sensual poem, Kim.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This was exciting, Kim. Almost like it was me. I have only had one kiss in my life that I remember, so I told it hear, but not very well I’m afraid. And late too.

    Liked by 1 person

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