“Love is raw as freshly cut meat,
mean as a beetle on the track of dung.”

– Jim Harrison


okay, attraction,
sure, and romance.

that you hope to keep
against dread that the other won’t.

But with you, with you, love is
filled with life’s juices.  Freshly cut
meat, sure.  Raw – a cut that’s still beating.

Love is, with you, green, greener, blood-soaked
green, dark and unvariegated – unalloyed – that lies
with us in the shadowed space out of the sun –
yet we shine!

Your love is mean, ardent, single-minded, unwavering.
One purpose, one outcome lives in your love.

Has anyone else ever felt
a beetled love such as this?


* * *


This prompt was a real challenge.  Make a love poem out of raw meat and dung beetles.  Sure!  No problem!  It’s the 20th Day of Jilly’s “Days of Unreason” challenge.

Survivalist poetry: What can you make out of this prompt?  Your life depends upon the results!  (Sounds rather like a reality show….)




26 thoughts on “Prime

  1. Raw – a cut that’s still beating.

    Love that line. The word beating is a little unexpected, but creates the perfect image. I like the urgency of this poem. I just ignored the meat and beetle aspect of it, so well done, you!


  2. You did a really clever thing here by turning this into a love poem in which that raw, freshly cut meat is twisted in a new way – it still beats, it is the juicy part of life. Also like the blood-soaked green – that line, that image, jolt us into paying attention. And, of course, verbing beetle is the icing on this sweet cut of cake. This poem shines! (to steal a word)


    • I kinda thought you’d enjoy a verbed beetle! My original thought was to do a straight love poem. But then I looked at the prompt, tore into it and really analyzed the words — took notes on what the implications of this choice vocabulary were — and then began beating my wings. Blood is our life’s essence, and love’s flowing power. Beetles, especially dung beetles, cannot be swayed from their purpose. That’s love.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. the sight of so much green is very refreshing – You have crushed emerald ash borers for a very unique take on the red of love as Betelgeus. ” a cut that’s still beating.” – the best of lines

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Laura! The wording of the prompt demanded a love poem as raw as… well, you know. I wrote it thinking about my wife and our relationship. I just couldn’t find an appropriate use for the word “dung.” Call me a romantic!


  4. The following excerpt is some of my favorite lines strung tautly together that I have read all year, and that’s saying something, (reading snow falling on cedars, finally).

    “Love is, with you, green, greener, blood-soaked
    green, dark and unvariegated – unalloyed – that lies
    with us in the shadowed space out of the sun –”

    I love unvariegated, unalloyed, shadowed space. Brings the center of closeness to the page in vivid and rich rainforest tones, teeming with life, cohesion and secrets. Long may it live. This is beautiful Charley.


  5. You won’t believe this but I cooked meat tonight for dinner 😀 and was grinning from ear to ear while reading your poem .. which is a fab fab fabulous one!! ❤️


  6. “Love is, with you, green, greener, blood-soaked
    green, dark and unvariegated”
    I really enjoyed this unique description…the phrases build in strength, like watching love grow before your eyes


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