Tag: art

Still Life No Longer

Today I decided to enlist some help, so as to make the challenge a little more exciting: I presented my significant other with a selection of postcards and I asked him to choose one for me. Negotiating his way through various skull-featuring pictures (you’ll see!), he finally settled on a reproduction of the painting The Poulterer’s Shop by Frans Snyders, which I had bought some time ago, on a visit to Cardiff. “Let’s see what you can do with this!” he said, so here goes my attempt at some ekphrastic poetry. (Just as a side note, the painting was, apparently, first meant to be a still life, over which the flirtatious scene was subsequently painted.)

Image (57)Image (58)

The Poulterer’s Shop

Breaking the monotony
of fowl, cold meats, garden greens
arrested in their not-yet-visible decay,
much better to have the ruffled pelt
of an old satyr hooking his last folly
into the knowing shadows under the fawn’s
eyes. There is enough of memento mori
in the routinely clanking pots and pans,
in the reed baskets waiting to be emptied
and then filled again, in the cosy smiles
hung out to dry.
The canvas knew this, the oils knew it,
and they knew the struggle for life,
and the mould of the clay skull
beneath it.


A Little Challenge

Alfred James Munnings, "A Cloud Study"
Alfred James Munnings, “A Cloud Study”

Today’s poem is the result of a challenge. It was supposed to be a happy poem, so hopefully it manages to bring out a more cheerful mood.

(DAY 29)


That day when the clouds
had broken my wings
you moulded hands
out of the dirt
on the sidewalk
so huge and warm
I thought I had fallen
the wrong way down
back into the heart
of my mother. You
let me dream
until I was full enough
to peel off my eyelids
and make sense
of your smile. I
never thought
about the clouds
after that,
because I learned
even your teeth
were softer.


Two more days left… For now, a poetic distillation of my academic research. 🙂

Mark Ryden, "Good Luck" (1991)
Mark Ryden, “Good Luck” (1991)

(DAY 28)


It took

many mirrors

to finally show

my knight in shining armour

my reluctant hero

but I saw


that she had always been there

albeit hard to recognise

with all the masks she put on

all the familiar faces

I held nothing in common with.

It took many mirrors

but then she smiled back

with the teeth of the dragon

and I knew her

for who she was.

Getting there…

It’s almost the end of NaPoWriMo again, so I guess a sort of nostalgia is kicking in…

Adam Cardall, "Castles in the Sky" (2002)
Adam Cardall, “Castles in the Sky” (2002)

(DAY 27)

That Time

It’s that time of the year again
when the sky cracks in two
releasing its angels, when the walls
put on a new coat of paint
and call it even with the vestal forest.
This is all unavoidable. Some say
it has always been this way.
So, at this time of the year,
all fugitives and seekers
take shelter under the bones
of their ancestors, erasing time.

Parallel Universes

Another NaPoWriMo entry written with relish. This is a good period for creativity, methinks! 😀

"Bird", unknown artist, currently in the Fine Art Collection at the University of Exeter.
“Bird”, unknown artist, currently in the Fine Art Collection at the University of Exeter.

(DAY 26)

[Poem currently under submission, therefore unavailable for the time being.]

Battles and Treaties

Martin Anderson (Cynicus), "The Lovers' Walk"
Martin Anderson (Cynicus), “The Lovers’ Walk”

It took me a while to come up with something today, but I eventually managed to get it together.

(DAY 24)

War Front

We observed our reluctant silence
with dignity, like old friends
on the war front. Your hopes
were bruised, as was my vanity.
Stubborn in our anachronism, we
pledged our truce over cheap wine
and a leftover meal, with
improbable patience. Outside,
in the trenches, we could hear
the survivors scuttle in search
of lost love tokens and amulets.