The First Time

Mother and child union, immediately after birth

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The First Time

The first time that I witnessed birth,
saw the crowning of the head,
that shock of thick black hair,
heard the melded cries of mother
and her son, the pain and ecstasy
in resounding dissonance,
the joy and fear and victory
of shattered boundaries—
that first time I beheld the
mystery of newborn life
I shuddered in the face of Awe.

The first time that I prayed in silence
without words or thoughts and stood
like Moses by the burning bush
that would not be destroyed and
offered (to the One who is and was
and will be) all that I have been and
am and shall become without limit
that first time I embraced
the mystery of the divine
I shuddered in the face of God.

The first time that I tasted love,
sought urgently to touch and hold,
looked into eyes that knew
my secret sacred spaces,
longed to please before receiving
pleasure, lost track of time, luxuriated
in the scent of passion,
that first time I received the mystery
of you, of all we could become,
I shuddered in the face of Bliss.

The first time I attended death
and held an old man’s icy hand and
looked into his eyes that saw beyond
me, wiped a brow expressing
nuances of sorrow and of joy,
the scope of everything we can imagine,
that first time I received a dying breath
and closed those eyes
I shuddered in the face of the Unknown.

The last time that I said hello, goodbye
I shuddered in the face of Wonder.

Come one, come all. The Pub is open for poetry and cheer at dVerse Open Link Night. Come by, bring a poem, warm up with some hot brandy and good friendship and share your work.


39 thoughts on “The First Time

  1. Rachel says:

    Wow! Great poem!!! Your words drew me in to the moments. Very moving.


  2. Yousei Hime says:

    You’ve captured life’s most sacred moments.


  3. dani says:

    stunning, Victoria! ♥

    wishing you happy holidays and may 2012 bring you many delights!


  4. Baishali says:

    so beautiful … so humbling … one of the best poems here …


  5. Kim Nelson says:

    This is one a most beautiful poem, both homage to life and elegy, both edifying and humbling. You touched my heart and stirred my soul.


  6. plse return comment when you get a chance– thanks– j.


  7. hedgewitch says:

    One of your very best, Victoria. You touch every resonant chord within us at the mysterious gifts of life, the mystical, the realistic, the unknown–may your holidays be as full of wonder as your writing here.


  8. The cycle of life, the cycle of nature (today is the Solstice). Perfect, Victoria. Words are your friends; they seem to do as you ask. 🙂


  9. ayala says:

    This is beautiful and moving !


  10. beckykilsby says:

    Beautiful progression and patterning in your poetry Victoria.. embodies your message so well. Easy to connect with this… quiet, reflective and yet intense.


  11. I really like this. A powerful and very thoughtful poem Victoria. Read through twice. Gives me goosebumps!


  12. A spectacular poem, truly, Victoria– very beautiful. the repetition works well and you cast a spell with just the right imagery, rich in detail. xxxj


  13. Ollin says:

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing.


  14. Joe Hesch says:

    It’s not every day you read a whole life in one poem, a life filled with unique yet universal experience. And marvelously, artistically and emotionally expressed. Wonderful, Victoria!


  15. jmgoyder says:

    Oh, Victoria, this is amazing poetry – thank you!


  16. zongrik says:

    ur gr8 at observig live


  17. Steve King says:

    A remarkable catalogue of experiences. You’re lucky to have seen and felt so much, and to be able to express its meaning with honesty and directness.


  18. Zoe says:

    This is really powerful but in an uplifting way. So much in here, so skillfully wrought, and intensely portrayed. Stunning.


  19. Heaven says:

    So deep and moving…I like the last lines of your verses…Indeed we will never know love, wonder of life and death until we experienced it ourselves ~


  20. leah J. Lynn says:

    remarkable way of wording life.


  21. souldipper says:

    Victoria! This is brilliantly put together and addresses some almost forgotten corners of my life. Thank you


  22. clariice says:

    An impactful piece. I could almost feel myself in the presence of wonder..
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and delivering the awesome gift of prose!


  23. tigerbrite says:

    Awesome. Not a word I use normally. This should be one for your poetry book. Victoria’s Verses.


  24. hobgoblin2011 says:

    Birth, Religion, Love and Death. Wide range of topics wove together seamlessly. Really good read. Thanks


  25. claudia says:

    boah…you touch the most intense emotions here…took me back to the time when my kids were born.. great write victoria


  26. This reminded me of the birth of my nephew who was coincidentally born December first of last year… and what beauty there is in new life, the adventure to come, the aspirations and dreams all in that tiny body. nice penning, thank you.


  27. wolfsrosebud says:

    so much depth to this write… so much truth to your observations… lovely write


  28. Beautiful and powerful! Nothing makes time stand still like birth. You captured it so well. Thank you.


  29. Bodhirose says:

    I absolutely love this–it touched me deeply. I can so relate to all of the things you shared, Victoria, having experienced them as well.


  30. vivinfrance says:

    A succession of images cascading in their beauty culminating in a breath-taking poem. Thank you.


  31. Mary says:

    Victoria, this is stunning. Each of these stanzas could have existed on its own…totally; but putting them all together is defininitely awe-ing. Thank you for these.


  32. Nick Rolynd says:

    Aw, this was so sweet. So many amazing moments we experience, no? Thanks so much for posting. ❤


  33. ~L says:

    Wow! this was so beautiful! …a timeline of life and the way you expressed it really pulled me in to your work… this was deep and amazing.


  34. brian miller says:

    wow victoria…each scene one of the vivid ones from my life…my sons birth a harrowing yet beautiful experience…first love always has its place…god as well…and death…this wrung some meories out of me..and perfect close…loved it…


  35. df barker says:

    I think this is excellent, and you are clearly perfectly qualified to know about such life and death issues. The verse about death is particularly poignant, you express its ultimate mystery brilliantly. You have made me wonder once again, about what life is really all about…


  36. Angela says:

    I love the craftmanship of this poem; it is truly awesome. It suggests the spirals and cyclical nature of who we are, our humanity, and so beautifully captures all the stages.



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