Poem: You Handed Me a Rose

12 Mar
Credit: EvilNuns, deviantart.com

Credit: EvilNuns, deviantart.com

You Handed Me a Rose

You handed me your love, a rose
And placed it in my outstretched hand
In your loving eyes, your love, it show’d
As you, your love, on me bestow’d
And I thought it oh so grand
But I knew not what it would demand
For I closed my hand to hold it so
And as I did the thorns drove in
They pierced my tender flesh straight through
And a crimson red began to show
The thorns their price in blood withdrew
I tried, but my closed fist stay’d fast
Upon those thorns it was impaled
And so the piercing thorns prevail’d
My blood seeped past the jagged thorns
As did my anguish past your scorn
How long was this to last?
My blood, so slowly, graced my sleeve
As I, impaled, had no reprieve
For my white shirt would not have stain’d
Had I of your red rose refrain’d
My shirt, with my own blood adorn’d
Your rose, I fear, can’t please my eye
For this the piercing thorns deny
My hand quivers in its thorns
For you handed me your rose

71 Responses to “Poem: You Handed Me a Rose”

  1. LindaGHill March 12, 2014 at 11:18 am #

    This says it all.

    • navigator1965 March 12, 2014 at 11:19 am #

      Thanks, Linda. A retrospective poem on a relationship with a narcissist.

  2. KG March 12, 2014 at 11:24 am #

    Can I borrow this 😉 ?

    • navigator1965 March 12, 2014 at 11:30 am #

      My poem is your poem, Madam KG. Thanks for stopping by and reading.

      • KG March 12, 2014 at 11:32 am #

        Wow..thank you Nav 🙂
        This poem says a lot and brought a tear.

        • navigator1965 March 12, 2014 at 11:33 am #

          I take this as a high compliment, and, as such, I am humbled.

  3. Susan Irene Fox March 12, 2014 at 11:28 am #

    Wow. I actually got shivers as I read this. Really.

    • navigator1965 March 12, 2014 at 11:34 am #

      Such high praise, and from such a lovely person. Thank you, Susan. So glad it spoke to you. (Darn WordPress put this reply in the wrong place.)

      • Susan Irene Fox March 12, 2014 at 11:35 am #

        🙂 OK, so how many minutes to the Big Reveal?

        • navigator1965 March 12, 2014 at 11:39 am #

          I’m waiting to hear from my account manager at FriesenPress.com as to how long it will take to get the book into production. I fear it may be a month or two.

          Apparently, one should do the big cover reveal shortly before the book release, to build excitement.

        • Susan Irene Fox March 12, 2014 at 11:51 am #

          Ahhh. (sigh) Ok. I will let my breath out then. 🙂

  4. navigator1965 March 12, 2014 at 11:30 am #

    Such high praise, and from such a lovely person. Thank you, Susan. So glad it spoke to you.

  5. mewhoami March 12, 2014 at 12:23 pm #

    This was very well written. It perfectly details the pain suffered when we place our heart in the wrong hands.

    • navigator1965 March 12, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

      Thank you, Mewhoami. Your single sentence sums up the theme of the poem rather nicely.

  6. KraftedKhaos March 12, 2014 at 1:36 pm #

    Extremely evocative. Anyone who has ever had a relationship that was unhealthy or which ended badly can’t help but relate. Bravo/a.

    • navigator1965 March 12, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Krafted. Appreciate your taking the time to visit and comment.

      • KraftedKhaos March 12, 2014 at 1:55 pm #

        As I appreciate your presence on my blog, as well. When you’re a sporadic poster like I am, it’s so nice to see some people didn’t give up on you while you were gone… plus you’re a really good writer, so it is truly my pleasure to visit!

        • navigator1965 March 12, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

          Well, that’s a compliment that’s hard to ignore. Thank you. Hopefully, others will think so, too, once my book comes out.

          I do try to keep up with the posts of the blogs that I follow, but it’s a bit of a challenge to keep up. I have to learn how to better manage the blogging workload. However, to the extent that I can, count me in.

        • KraftedKhaos March 12, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

          I freely admit that I’m terrible at keeping up with people’s blogs. I follow people, but choose to only receive e-mails for the blogs of my close friends (which number a grand total of 1, lol) and the rest, I catch in my reader when I come on WordPress, so if they haven’t posted in a narrow time frame, I often miss them completely, unless/until they show presence directly in my face (on my blog), so don’t be shy about letting me know about a post of yours you think I may enjoy, because often that and pure accident are the only ways I catch some of the great ones! 🙂

        • navigator1965 March 12, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

          Will do. Thanks for the heads up. }:-)> (WordPress stuffed this in the wrong spot, initially!)

  7. navigator1965 March 12, 2014 at 2:06 pm #

    Will do. Thanks for the heads up. }:-)>

  8. Dalo 2013 March 12, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

    Beautifully written, brings out the emotions that most of us have experienced… Well done!

    • navigator1965 March 12, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

      Thank you, Sir. Your kind comments are most appreciated.

  9. vicbriggs March 12, 2014 at 7:32 pm #


  10. M.K. Styllinski March 12, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

    Nominated you for a Liebster Award Michael. Well earned I’d say.

  11. suzjones March 13, 2014 at 3:53 am #

    Fan-blinkin-tastic my friend. I love it 🙂

    • navigator1965 March 13, 2014 at 7:59 am #

      Thank you, Sue. Glad that you liked it. Strange, but in the period that I wrote most of my poetry (2007 – 2009), I wasn’t certain if anyone would ever read or if it was really any good.

      • suzjones March 13, 2014 at 3:47 pm #

        I think when you write from a place of pain or deep seated feelings, it shows through in your writing. That, and the fact, that you can craft your words beautifully.

        • navigator1965 March 13, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

          Thank you, Sue. Yes, my emotions naturally permeate my writing if I am not careful. This actually worked against me in the first draft of my manuscript, and even several versions in, as I was dealing with some fairly powerful negative repressed emotions in reliving the story.

          I can’t see how I am unique in this; you are certainly right, if speaking in the general sense.

        • suzjones March 13, 2014 at 4:08 pm #

          I think all writers write from their experiences in a sense – some more than others.
          I can understand your emotions being a hindrance in your book because you need to deal with facts in that and the emotion can tinge your credibility. However poetry and fiction can have all the emotion they wish and benefit from it beautifully. 🙂

  12. idiotwriter March 13, 2014 at 5:39 am #

    yeah – I think all the adjectives have been used up. So just …
    yeah. *clasps hands together in deep contemplation* *shaking head slowly from side to side in amazement and awe. And flawed by the potency and –
    Phew – Nav – feeling every word there.

    • navigator1965 March 13, 2014 at 8:01 am #

      A nicer compliment could not have been paid, Belinda. Thank you so much. Yes, this is a poem that just radiates dark emotions. You can’t help but feel it.

      • idiotwriter March 13, 2014 at 8:03 am #

        Absolutely – you may find some of what I drew from that came out in the post I just posted dear Sir – after reading this and a small interaction with a sweet lady…I would be honoured if you would have aread of what you just inspired Nav? 😀
        BUT I need to go be a mommy for a bit now 😉

        • navigator1965 March 13, 2014 at 8:30 am #

          I’ll pop right over and have a look. Cheers.

        • idiotwriter March 13, 2014 at 8:39 am #

          Thank you 😀

  13. lensgirl53 March 13, 2014 at 9:33 am #

    If the telling of toxicity can be beautiful…then yours is it. It is a reminder of my son’s own pain of a poisoned relationship. I am finding out so much through your writings and book just what it was my son was up against. I am sorry that you have had to bear the same burden….for some the thorns are deadly. ❤

    • navigator1965 March 13, 2014 at 11:15 am #

      Thank you, LG. I hope you can feel the love in this reply, both for you and Brandon. Sadly, the thorns can pierce so deeply that they impale others, too.

      I can only hope that the book will help bring insight, and with this, perhaps, some measure of closure reading your loss. The deepest wounds oft seem to never want to heal. ❤

  14. sistasertraline March 13, 2014 at 9:55 am #


    • navigator1965 March 13, 2014 at 11:16 am #

      Thank you, Sista. A pleasure to have you drop by.

  15. barbarafranken March 13, 2014 at 10:01 am #

    You have written it so lovely, so vulnerable… and would love to read a poem about the rose that you received later in your life too… IAM loving reading your ‘life story’, i’m a bit slow… but will give you a great review… I’m not good at correcting, so I left that to others, but then again, I didn’t notice any yet… Barbara

    • navigator1965 March 13, 2014 at 11:20 am #

      You are a dear, Barbara. No worries about the manuscript – I finally wised up and hired a professional proof reader through elance.com for a modest sum. He appears to have found all the little or treacherous typos that had eluded I and others. It is nice that you are enjoying the story, and please, take all the time in the world.

      We’ll see if the will to write poetry comes back. It has been in isolation for a few years. Everything that I have posted stems from around the 2007-2009 period, or very shortly thereafter.

  16. M.K. Styllinski March 14, 2014 at 1:04 pm #

    Felt I had to comment again as I work my way through Book 1.

    It’s an extremely valuable work Michael, in so many ways. I see the same kind of pathological disease which is infecting so many social domains from academia to government, military to the church. What you have discovered by hard experience is narcissism rising up through yet another “-sim” – in this case Western feminism – but this is but a symptom of wider malaise. That sounds extreme to many as we are not sufficiently acquainted with the nature of psychopathology as it manifests in our institutions. There is an extraordinary amount of misinformation, often from so called “experts” as you have also discovered to your cost.

    I think the changes will come when we begin to identify these psychological distortions which seed themselves at a micro and macro social level. Ideology, belief and psycho-social conditioning is so bound up with authoritarianism and social engineering it is very VERY difficult to heal, let alone cure.

    It seems there is an odd aversion to diagnosing pathology drawn from on-the-ground experience. Good psychologists trained to see connections to other disciplines is essential. (Psychiatry is all too often part of the problem as far as I can see). Nonetheless, when there is a consensus built that describes an objective reality such as you have described then the same narcissistic entitlement is wheeled out to counter it – often very effectively. The same applies to sociopaths and psychopathic who find their version of life challenged. They use the foundations of narcissism as the “change agents” prior to the implementation of a psychological “shock doctrine” at various cycles of change. We do seem to be at huge turning point in this regard.

    The more people have the courage to initially go against the prevailing herd instinct and tell it as it is especially when it is deemed politically incorrect ( a phrase that is frequently used to counter rational discourse) then perhaps we may begin to see some partial improvement in our societies.

    It’s going to be a very long road I fear….

    • navigator1965 March 14, 2014 at 3:21 pm #


      That you can see the both the inherent merit of the foundational arguments I’ve made and their significance is most encouraging for me. I did try to write the narrative in as simple and engaging a style as possible, so as to widen the book(s) potential audience and thus magnify its/their social impact.

      You’re quite right in recognizing this in many if not most or all of the major social domains. This is Christopher Lasch’s “The Culture of Narcissism” in action. And it is a challenge to address, as according to narcissism theory, it has built-in self defence mechanisms against any objective truth which contradicts the pathological ideological “truth.”

      As you will see at the end of the current book, I am utilizing narcissism theory to identify and exploit that which is likely to be the Achilles’ heel of feminism and broader social narcissism. An ambitious attempt and an interesting one, too.

      In terms of significance, the unified construct of gender narcissism that I introduce at the end of Book One (and will fully develop in Book Two) is the means by which I believe I can unify Lasch’s “The Culture of Narcissism” with Gibbons’ “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.”

      My assessment is that the wider malaise that you speak of is symptomatic of our civilization’s parallel long-term social decay to that of the Roman Empire’s, and that this is (and was) a process of narcissistic decay. I hope to use a cancer analogy to make this point in the sequel.

      It will indeed be a long and difficult journey. However, no journey begins without a first step. Hopefully, “The Mirror” will be that first step.

      Your comment is most appreciated. Thank you.

      • M.K. Styllinski March 14, 2014 at 3:37 pm #

        You’re welcome.

        Lasch has a big part of the picture but he’s missing a vital part. As I’ve said before, you’ll only get that from Andrew Lobaczewski’s Political Ponerology.

        This is absolutely essential reading in order to do justice to your cancer analogy, narcissistic decay and the idea of Empire or Pathocracy.

        It will enrich your premise 200% as he’s basically saying the same thing yet providing a scientific and experiential framework which will dovetail neatly into your own unique experiences to provide something quite special I believe.

        You can find a PDF copy here:

        Click to access ponerology_preview.pdf

        But I’ll stop there otherwise I’ll become irritating ; )

        • navigator1965 March 14, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

          Downloaded, thanks. I note Miyamoto Musashi is quoted as an epigraph to the editor’s preface. I read “The Book of Five Rings” some years ago, and will have to reengage this work too, it would appear.

  17. Susan Lattwein March 18, 2014 at 6:29 am #

    Love this poem, too. 🙂

    • navigator1965 March 18, 2014 at 8:43 am #

      Thank you, Susan. Appreciate the kind words. It’s one that speaks to me, that’s for certain.

  18. Carrie-Anne Foster (thatdizzychick) March 21, 2014 at 1:39 am #


    • navigator1965 March 21, 2014 at 8:58 am #

      TDC, Thanks so much for such a kind and wonderful compliment.

  19. Carol Balawyder March 21, 2014 at 1:29 pm #

    Your poem has the atmosphere of the era of the Romantic Poets (Keats, Byron, Donne). You went very deep for that, didn’t you?

    • navigator1965 March 21, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

      Yes, I did. It was a dark poetic retrospective of my 19 year marriage to a woman with expert confirmed narcissistic personality traits.

      Thank you for the generous compliment, BTW. Very kind of you.

  20. Holistic Wayfarer March 21, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

    Told ya it’d do well. =)

    • navigator1965 March 21, 2014 at 4:08 pm #

      Indeed, you did, Diana. Rights as always. }:-)>

  21. 2l2phant March 25, 2014 at 9:02 pm #

    Reblogged this on 2l2phant.

    • navigator1965 March 26, 2014 at 6:57 am #

      Thank you for this kind honour you’ve bestowed upon my poem. Much appreciated.

      • 2l2phant March 26, 2014 at 7:22 am #

        Thank you for such an exquisite read!

  22. alysia86 March 29, 2014 at 10:08 am #

    beautifully written

    • navigator1965 March 30, 2014 at 7:08 am #

      Thank you, Alysia. I’m glad you liked it. [I forgot the hit the “reply” button right away, and so this is a day late. Apology.]

  23. navigator1965 March 28, 2014 at 12:14 pm #

    Thanks for the ping-back honour, DC.


  1. What do Poems, Serenity & Hockey Have in Common? Check Out #FF – Feature Friday! | That Dizzy Chick - March 28, 2014

    […] Poem: You Handed Me a Rose.  Such a powerful piece which perfectly describes how painful love can be when placed in the wrong hands.  I read this poem earlier this week, and I’ve come back to it a few times.  The beauty in the flow of the words will resonate with you.  […]

  2. What do Poems, Serenity & Hockey Have in Common? Check Out #FF - Feature Friday! - Carrie-Anne Foster - September 6, 2014

    […] Poem: You Handed Me a Rose.  Such a powerful piece which perfectly describes how painful love can be when placed in the wrong hands.  I read this poem earlier this week, and I’ve come back to it a few times.  The beauty in the flow of the words will resonate with you.  […]

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