Artwork ‘An Uncommon Vision’ by Nick Reeves

This poem is in response to the EIF Poetry Challenge #15 posed by Ingrid entitled “Ekphrastic” in which we are asked to write a poem “telling the story” in the artwork.

Boarding School Story

 I know why you cry.
 The drizzle paints lines
 like a prison’s bars
 and the holiday bells
 measure dread in their tolling.
 I saw last night  
 the shadow
 in darkest ivory hewn -
 its sour breath whispered
 and its slippers like fish
 slapped and reeked
 on the floorboards
 stinking by my nose
 where I knelt
 beside the crack,
 the Mariana Trench
 under your door
 where the whimpers
 sounded screaming to my ears
 and where my tears
 were the stinging salt  
 the seawater
 I know why you dig  
 fingers into eyeballs –  
 searching out  
 your own depths
 beyond the dapple  
 of desperate pressed-in colours
 to blackness
 while the ravens cry
 shame shame shame.
 Your brain stitches squares
 patching future’s horizon
 in every shade of smog.
 And this blanket, this now,
 this coldest of eiderdowns
 under which we hide
 you from I, I from you
 and we from all the world outside...
 the secret is safe
 as a blade in a bracelet  
 leaking red ink -
 the shadow’s sick flood
 and seeping, indelible stain 

16 thoughts on “EKPHRASTIC

  1. I thought that the title was the key to understanding what is going on, but I have been wrong before. Anyway, the images were powerful as John pointed out. I didn’t find it disjointed, though maybe it was just in synch with the way my mind works!🙂 I tip my hat to you for pulling such imagery from that artwork. My efforts are all in my virtual dustbin. Edit it, if you feel the need, but submit and be damned I say!🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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