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