Ekphrastic poetry has become my way back into writing poems. After too many years writing fiction or other forms of prose, I found myself craving the discipline of poetry, the alchemy of it, the search for the one right word in the right place. But I am an ill-disciplined sort of writer and found myself easily diverted from the hard job of writing poetry.
So, I joined my local Stanza group for moral support and set myself an individual challenge of using the pictures on the DailyArt app as an inspiration for some morning writing. In an ekphrastic poem, the poet seeks to explore and expand meaning in a work of art. I do not google the paintings; I approach each one knowing nothing about what the artist intended.
I will update this poem on a monthly basis, but for now, here is a poem for November.
Or if the title doth protest too much:
you, sitting on a bench in a dress,
Holding a red flower in one hand,
Me left wondering.
Behind you the park is spacious and soft
Like a pale green duvet on a clean bed
In an empty house in the country
Where all the windows are wide open.
Between the two of you is the bland
plank of the back of the bench,
the flesh of your upper arm pinched
by the splintered edge, the painted wood
unsympathetic beneath your bones,
straight lines ruled across the possibilities.
You are wondering as well, I think.
Imagining the blood spilt on the green duvet
If you were to. Wondering what can be taken,
Given, picked and offered without bleeding.
What it would be like if this flower was yours
And you did not have to sit in your dress,