In our town

There was something about the town in this painting that really got up my nose. Not sure why. I wrote several poems about it for the Ekphrastic challenge. This is one of them.

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In our town only the dead walk

or the defiant, skimming the shadows

of the empty streets after night falls.


In our town the house fronts frown,

and windows howl in outrage,

while streetlamps point the finger


at ghosts and outcasts robed in sin.

We robe ourselves in righteousness

and join the hallelujah chorus.


In our town the streets are safe,

without fear, for behind each window

framed in lace is a finger on a trigger.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

39 thoughts on “In our town”

  1. I hadn’t seen this challenge. Well done. You are right–it’s very disquieting, and that figure looks like a ghost. The buildings on the left look like they’re faces, and they are definitely plotting something. You can see them talking or singing to each other.

    1. I almost didn’t do this one because I don’t much like the painting and it certainly doesn’t evoke a place I’d like to visit. I’m pleased you saw the unsavoury aspect of those houses too 🙂

  2. I had ghosts in mine too. It definitely looks like an unpleasant place.
    Mine wasn’t chosen, but I’ll get around to posting it eventually. I need to do some art. (K)

      1. Some weeks I like the work better than others, but I suppose that’s to be expected. I like some of the art better than others too.

      2. The names that crop up the most often tend to be poets that don’t do much for me. Yes, some of the paintings leave me uninspired too.
        I’m intrigued to see what kind of perspective they approve of for this week’s painting. I know what I think of it, and somehow I don’t think it will pass the test.

      3. Yes that will indeed be interesting. I was wondering why she chose it at all. It’s not by far the best rendering of Salome. Way too passive.

      4. It seems to encapsulate the male voyeur aspect of the Salomé story, in the expression, the body language and the age—she’s a mature consenting adult not a kid.

  3. Pingback: sleepwalker – K.

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