The Last Witness

Bring in the coroner.
Let her stand before the court and speak.

"Thank you, Your Honour
and all the grand, wise jury.
Here are my findings:

What sinks is not the eye
blue and white
as granny’s delftware
beside the tall vase of fresias:
pretty things
(our frames and lockets)
get preserved for viewing,
taken to with Silvo
and soft cloths
and the pleasure of beholding.

What sinks, Your Honour, 
is the heart, gone stubby 
with so much beating,  
a few bubbles popping on 
the reeking sulphur
of volcano’s hellish pits,
and now, like earth’s pith,  
it’s dessicated as belief. 

We say: leave it lie, black and 
shredded as perished rubber, 
and if it be needed tomorrow, 
surely our children will act.
For they are sworn in 

love-deep like the roots
of the red, red roses
you see outside the court room window.

Thank you."

Written for NAPOWRIMO Day 26:

A couple of days ago, we played around with hard-boiled similes. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that contains at least one of a different kind of simile – an epic simile. Also known as Homeric similes, these are basically extended similes that develop over multiple lines. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they have mainly been used in epic poems, typically as decorative elements that emphasize the dramatic nature of the subject (see, by way of illustration, this example from Milton’s Paradise Lost). But you could write a complete poem that is just one lengthy, epic simile, relying on the surprising comparison of unlike things to carry the poem across. And if you’re feeling especially cheeky, you could even write a poem in which the epic simile spends lines heroically and dramatically describing something that turns out to be quite prosaic. Whatever you decide to compare, I hope you have fun extending your simile(s) to epic lengths.

3 thoughts on “The Last Witness

    1. Thank you for commenting and admitting you don’t understand it. I think it was a bit forced. I had these images I had collected late one night and I tried to fashion them into a skeleton for the prompt. But I think some of the bones are hanging loose.

      Liked by 1 person

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