Rose & Thorns

by Ethan Nahté

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There she sat upon a bench,
a pale rose in full bloom —
with skin soft as petals
standing out against the gloom.

Eyes that glisten like dewdrops
upon a vivid green leaf.
This beauty I must have to hold
to stir me from my grief.

To garner her interest,
A soft-spoken word here.
To gain her sympathy,
A generous gesture there.

To my humble abode
she doth discreetly follow,
filling the space within my breast
which has long been dark and hollow.

Her tender kisses,
moist upon my lips.
The scent of her long hair
stroked by my fingertips.

Her eyes so hypnotic
tugging at emotions and my mind.
The coolness of her embrace
slows down the hands of time.

Candlelight flickers, casting shadows.
I can feel her mouth’s caress.
Tantalizing nibbles upon my neck
as I unzip the back of her dress.

My breath sweet and warm
blows softly in her ear.
She wraps her arms around me
and holds me, oh, so dear.

The hold becomes a clutch.
Her eyes set ablaze.
I’m lost in a fog.
My mind, like a maze.

Her head moves forward.
I see her raven hair.
The prick of the rose’s thorns,
I yield… I do not care.

Her pale, chilled skin
grows fervent and blush.
The essence of my life
flows away with a rush.

The thorns dig deeper
and my beauty has her hold.
I sought her for my passion
but the hunt was two-fold.

A victim I was
of a sordid heart
and, to the rose with thorns,
I am simply a la cart.

©️ 2021 by Ethan Nahté

“Rose & Thorns,” by Ethan Nahté, was first published on January 21, 2021 in Love Letters to Poe and can be found in Love Letters to Poe, Volume I: A Toast to Edgar Allan Poe.

Interview with Ethan Nahté, Author of “Rose & Thorns”

What inspired your poem?

I have been a vampire fan ever since I can remember. I had a dream one night of a female vampire in a Gothic setting, and there were roses on a marble table next to her as she looked out the window at a moonlit hillside. I created a metaphor for her beauty and danger.

What’s your favorite gothic story or poem and why?

The Masque of the Red Death” is probably one of my favorite stories. I love the setting and vibe of the story, but I also like the fact that it puts everybody on equal footing. It does not matter what you perceive as your own importance, wealth, intelligence, etc. We’re all pretty equal when it comes to death.

How long have you been writing?

My first stories were published in school literary magazines, beginning circa 1983. I recall writing my first story when I was approximately 5. It was about a camping trip on our 50-acres in the mountains. That would’ve been 1974. I took a long break from writing after my first published poem the year I graduated high school. I wrote no fiction from 1988-2004 but didn’t get serious about writing fiction again until 2010.

Do you have a theme you return to time and again?

A lot of my writing, regardless of genre, has elements of protecting animals and the environment or reflecting upon the human race having already ruined nature. Otherwise, revenge is a recurring element in many of my works. Especially vengeance upon a character that most readers probably feel is quite deserving.

Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?

Now, don’t hang on.
Nothin’ lasts forever but the earth and sky.
It slips away
And all your money won’t another minute buy. “Dust in the Wind” – Kansas

What are you working on now?

I’m working on the origin story of The Savage Cat, a full-length novel based on a David J. Martinez’s comic book. I wrote a novella entitled The Savage Caged in 2018. It was a standalone story based on the characters of the Savage Cat world.

I’m also working on the next Weird Tales Investigators story (MG) and shopping a couple of screenplays and a YA novel.

What else would you like people to know? Where can people find you online?

I worked for several years in TV/Film/Radio. In addition to my work appearing on major networks, I had my own programs interviewing bands/solo artists, actors, authors and other celebs. I am also a journalist, photographer, and musician.

I primarily write speculative fiction and have over three dozen published stories and poems, two story collections, and three novellas. With my Beagle Mountain Publishing company, I released the anthology Island Terrors & Sea Horrors (2020). I was the recipient of the National Quill & Scroll Award, 1st Place in the John L. Balderston competition, and three-time Writers of the Future Honorable Mention recipient. I reside in the mountains of Arkansas, where I enjoy hiking, camping, and fishing.

My books can be found at More information can be found at I’m on Facebook at EthanNahteCreative and Twitter @EthanNaht1.