The Story: Ekphrastic Challenge, Day 3

Inspired by all three works of art by John Law, Kerfe Roig, and Jane Cornwell

Is it once upon a time, or always and forever,

the wind and sky whisper
the sound of light and shadow,

timebound and timeless? Like magic, the flowers come,
white snowdrops, then red roses, and finally autumn golden
chrysanthemums, a wave of sunglow against the browning earth–

and turtle, ancient and wise, moves
through each season, each year, steady–
does he carry the impulsive rabbit?

So, the elders say. Be like the turtle, cautious, constant,
they warn you, do not go out alone,
your dark cloak will turn blood-red–

woman-child, it is your sin, remember
you must not tempt the wolves.

But like a turtle, you are wise. You know a man is not a wolf,
that it doesn’t matter what you wear—

and you dream—and this is the story you tell your children–

you are seed and flower,
turtle, rabbit, and wolf, howling–

you are earth and sky
living beyond time, hearing
the sound of light and shadow, always and forever,
once upon a time.

This is for Paul Brookes annual National Poetry Month Ekphrastic Challenge. Check out his site for all the poets and artists. There are more poets participating than are listed in the title.

32 thoughts on “The Story: Ekphrastic Challenge, Day 3

  1. Just so beautiful Merril, especially the ending! It must have been a tough task to weave all three artworks into a poem but you certainly rose to the challenge!

  2. I love how you were able to move through the images to create one cohesive poem. I was fascinating to watch your mind at work through the lens of the poem. I liked the poem itself, too! 🙂

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