A Sudden Fall

This poem is one about love and how the storms of life can suddenly cause it to be torn from our lives. It is also about those times when we have loved but not been in love. True love is the key, and when it is false, it cannot last. True love is not a game, it is the giving of oneself completely and unconditionally. Without the deep roots of commitment, the weak tree—false love—will surely fall.

A Sudden Fall


We danced in the heat of summer

Around us the air thick and sweet

Embraced in a bittersweet struggle

Ever seeking yet never complete


Moisture clinging to glistening bodies

Grass dark and wet with the dew

Black clouds build in the distance

My eyes seeing nothing but you


Days spent by a river run empty

The sun having dried it away

Still… we held on like a small one

Holds mother’s finger at end of day


Walks to nowhere, stop in a shade

Beneath oaks with arms open wide

Do you love me, you ask, holding breath

I do, yet not knowing… I lied


We sleep, things are moving unseen

In the morning storm comes to call

Love, a dry leaf, flutter earthward

The day dawns on a sudden fall


Copyright © 2011 C. Mashburn

Sharing this poem with the talented folks at dVerse Poets Pub, where Mary Kling is hosting Poetics: Autumn Chill is in the Air.


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  1. Passionate but the suddenly sad. [“A Sudden Fall”]
    Keeping Stevenson’s form was well done !
    I wondered how “eyes seeing nothing but you” could change to you lied saying “I do”. Or did I read that wrong?

  2. I like that last stanza ~ Storms can change us yet its also a time for discovery of one’s true self ~ Lovely share Charles ~

  3. Mary said

    This is beautiful, Charles. The last stanza takes my breath away. “Falls” of all kinds often DO come suddenly, sometimes unexpectedly!

  4. wow what a close on this one…i do but not knowing….i really like how you let the imagery tell the more of the tale…the dried up river….from the heat of summer….nicely layered…

  5. Sherry Mashburn said

    achingly beautiful . . .

  6. leahJlynn said

    Lovely, I fell in love with this poem

  7. There’s a great deal of truth here – the fear of confessing – of even acknowledging commitment – and how that itself – or the inequality of it – can lead to a storm. Agh! Hope you are well. k.

  8. Fab final stanza Charles

  9. kaykuala said

    Moisture clinging to glistening bodies
    Grass dark and wet with the dew
    Black clouds build in the distance
    My eyes seeing nothing but you

    Seems to be building up to some romantic escapades. Or rather having the feelings of fondness for someone dearly missed. Nice take Charles!


  10. I agree with you 100%. We can say we love someone until the cows come home and yet, if we don’t give of ourselves that 100% it isn’t true love.
    Deep, and thought provoking write.

  11. Raivenne said

    “I do, yet not knowing… I lied”

    It aches with honesty. Reminds me of hot summer flings faced with the cool reality of autumn.

  12. hobgoblin2011 said

    very nice verse Charles. love the end lines in each stanza, especially the first one, ever seeking yet never complete-a perfect phrase in my opinion. Thanks

  13. *lump in throat*

  14. The metaphor expresses the sudden changes in seasons and in life. Romance hangs by a trembling stem, a storm rages and summer comes to an end. All captured here explicitly with grace.

  15. The Enfant Terrible said

    As others have said, a wonderful stanza to wrap up this piece. I love how you managed to capture the sudden arrival of Fall. 🙂

  16. Sensual and sad, I especially like the ‘do you love me? I do, not yet known… I lied’

  17. ds said

    “Ever seeking yet never complete.” So true. And the powerful honesty of “I do…I lied” Not many love poems embrace such contradictions, but this works. Thank you.

  18. […] A Sudden Fall by Charles Mashburn […]

  19. kkkkaty said

    I like your interesting take on “‘fall” 😉

  20. love a dry leaf flutters earthward..the day dawns on a sudden fall….beautiful lines..

  21. Daydreamer said

    Extremely romantic… beautiful!

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