Monday, 6 April 2020

Day 6: Ekphrastic

Hieronymus Bosch's 'The Garden of Earthly Delights', A Journey ...

Today's prompt was to write from the point of view of one of the characters from Bosch's painting 'The Garden of Earthly Delights.' Phew! What a mad, MAD painting!

(My chosen figure is the the unicorn-like creature, bottom right of close-up shot.)


You gotta hand it to them-
Adam and Eve, they know 
how to throw a party. 
All the birds and the beasts

and all and sundry.
Such a riotous affair! 
A heavenly revel 
with hell to pay I'm sure.

Past the lake isle of lovers -
and what looks like 
a palace, or prison,
scorpion shelled

a Fabergé egg.

What indulgent gluttony.
Is that a mermaid? 
And a knight in...shining scales? 

Couples, quite literally,
coming out of their shells
(or a crowd going into one);
a score of scorned faces submerged.

I don't know why I'm here. 
Bringing up the rear -
an unicorn, with a narwhal's horn,
myth mismatched bold.

Round and round we go,
bears, horses, rats, hares,
hooves and harrumphs!,
charge of the nymph parade

a full rush of bloodlust.
It wasn't what I'm used to -
maidens and ideals. 
But this is a place

where running amok 
seems the general idea,
join the flanks and the frolics 
of fowl and foul.

Apples upon apples everywhere -
do you think it's a motif?
A feast of fantasy,
temptation taken

The clatter, the maelstrom

the bloody racket
the shrieks and laughter 
the weird characters -

human nature
when it's let go, 
a fruitful free-for-all. 
Eden was just cocktail hour

compared to this.
Oh I should be 
on a carousel somewhere 
adorned in lights -

not this carnal circus show. 
Do you think freedom is a foible
that maybe we will have 
to pay for later?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, I liked this poem, esp the last line - I found your blog and a-blog-of-one's-own (nice title) when looking for U A Fanthorpe and see you have a wealth of things to explore. I look forward to it.