Ekphrastic Review: Slaughter

I have a poem featured in Ekphrastic Review today! It’s based on this painting Animals in a landscape by Franz Marc (I know, him again) and it’s called Slaughter.

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Slaughter

There came a time of blood red light,
and then the night
fell and swept away the sleeping
lowing things.
They walked into the flames,
heads full of fire,
mud mire
swallowed them,
shards whittled them,
hung them on hooked barbs
like dead cattle.

Jane Dougherty

Look, said the painter’s wife

My poem was chosen to be published in the Ekphrastic Review today, with some of the other entries for the Yves Tanguy writing challenge. I thought I’d invented the painter’s wife. Turns out he did have one, who was a painter too.

You can read the published entries here.

 

1943-reply-to-red_1_orig

Look, Said the Painter’s Wife 

Look, said the painter’s wife,
this is what I made
from the leavings of your conversations,
the scraps that fell from your lover’s hands,
otherwise occupied,
the bits and bats of unwanted affection.
I gathered and cleaned them,
picked them apart
and wove them into this.

When his thunder fell
she held up her creation as a shield
but the painter’s leavings were as light,
as inconsequential as thistledown,
as void of substance as a sycophant’s praise,
even though she had pulled the threads tight.

The thunder fell and split her in two.
She left him the stricken half
and flew away on unsuspected wings.
He would have broken them
had he known,
made a masterpiece
of their feathered glory
and crowed.

Jane Dougherty