the fall of Camelot by Suzanne S. Eaton

A graceful dream, a warm-wind night

—the hour I knew I loved you.

Soul-consuming, mythical fervor

two hearts dancing in Camelot.

Distant music—friends celebrating

balmy darkness, sweltering essence

of you—larger than life in steaming

shadow of a lantern’s light.

“I love you,” whispered in my ear

—your flaming eyes pierce into mine,

baronial blanket beneath us, igneous kisses

smells of fire and wine, held so tight

mind-sweating frenzy—so alive!

Perfect words like embers, etching

our future together, impassioned

sizzling struggle—desire and risk,

your words absolute, my need to believe.

Your torrid skin, hot breath on my neck,

your febrile aching mixed with mine

unfolding destiny—infinite love

suspended in white-hot blaze.

I melt into complete surrender

calescent power of our union

held in the sultry moment

mesmerized, thrilled, fulfilled

—a night’s dream come true.

Daybreak’s chilling silence,

frigid air, your icy words disjoin—

embarrassed, shamed, martyred.

Like Guinevere and Sir Lancelot’s

forbidden and pernicious love,

sadness of a love born still.

Empty, craven, ravaged, spent

no strength, no warmth, no future

innocence lost, idealism gone.

—Reflection illuminates the night

adorned by your searing charms,

feverous passion, scorched dreams

and I feel the fall of Camelot.


Suzanne S. Eaton is an author and marketing consultant. She has written many corporate stories and magazines. Most recently, Writer Shed Stories, Seaborne Magazine, The Purpled Nail, The Silent World in Her Vase (TSWHV), Scarlet Leaf Review, Rue Scribe, eris & eros, Writing in a Woman’s Voice, The Elevation Review, The Write Launch, Dreamers, Poet’s Choice, and The Poet Magazine have selected her work for publication.

Author's note

Young and impressionable, I was deeply impacted by the movie Camelot. It was incredible that a personal indiscretion, born of romantic desire, could cause the fall of the most principled kingdom. When deciding who to give my heart to, I was deceived and suffered a Camelot-ish fall. I saw how far the pendulum can swing in one direction and struggled to find my balance. Today, we have over-corrected, and society does not acknowledge a personal cost. Giving yourself to someone has been over-trivialized (perhaps to avoid Camelot-ish pain), but this comes with an immeasurable loss of meaning. I wrote this poem pushing back on the tide of "casual sex" because I sense that an actual mark of the soul is left behind in intimate encounters. Despite denial, we ache from within to reconcile these imprints over time. It was such a beautiful kingdom that fell so hard. How does it go? "In short, there's simply not a more congenial spot for happily-ever-aftering than here in Camelot."

This piece originally appeared in The Silent World in Her Vase in December 2020.