Happy Hump Day people!
So much is going on for us right now – we got back from Queensland last night and are straight into the swing of things to get the move done. Today our stuff gets packed up to get shipped to America and tomorrow will see the rest of the house packed to go into storage until we come home again. Meanwhile, we both have ongoing uni assessments, I have uni this afternoon and I’m supposed to enter a competition by the end of today, which involves reworking my novel draft… I am nowhere near ready to submit! Still, exciting times on all fronts and we’re starting to feel like this is actually happening. So, onto the poem!
The poem below is what is called an ‘ekphrastic’ poem. Ekphrasis means ‘description’ in Greek and an ekphrastic poem is a vivid description of a scene or a work of art. Strictly speaking, this poem probably isn’t ekphrastic in the truest sense of the word, since I’ve used the painting more as a launching point for the poem. The painting is The Storm in the Mountains by Albert Bierstadt.
I thought of you again last night, the clouds
roiling a maddened sea of grey through the valley
ferocious sneaking mountain devils,
to creep beneath door lintels and chinks in wooden walls
cold against naked toes; empty beds.
Our sunlight lingers, is chased away
like sheep before the wolf
that prowls the mountains, howling
at the moon and for his brothers to hunt
and stalk and endure the biting lash of the rain
drumming, the constant drumming
against our sturdy walls, soaking through the
freshly turned dirt,
trees shuddering above.
And I thought of you again last night amongst
the raging storm as the darkness closed in
wind screeching for flesh,
wolves howling for more while the
of this house of ours is a
knife between my ribs.
Until our son cried out, hungry for the breast
and I left the memories of you and I,
to sink back into the dirt of
your waterlogged grave.