Death Comes and Waits

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Now, death comes–
an owl’s wing-woosh, sighs
in moonlight,
shadow shapes.
But weary-boned, he pauses–
eyes wide-open shut

gone–or in-between
time shifting,
ghosts drifting–
past meets future, unmasked
Death enters the room.

This is a shadorma for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday. I selected the artwork.
I saw the above print on the Philadelphia Free Library’s Print Department’s Instagram feed. It captured my attention, and though created during the Great Depression of the 1930s, it seems so timely, as well as seasonal. I asked Colleen if it would be okay to use it instead of a photo for her ekphrastic prompt.

26 thoughts on “Death Comes and Waits

  1. Beautiful imagery, Merril. I loved the last lines: “…past meets future, unmasked
    Death enters the room.” This was such a provocative image. We all saw something different yet somehow alike. Thanks so much for all of your inspiration. You are a star! ❤

  2. The most most striking image from your evocative poem was death pausing before entering the room.

    Thank you for letting us know where the prompt image came from. I just followed the Philadelphia Free Library’s Print Department’s Instagram feed.

    • Thank you very much. I imagine even Death must get weary.

      A few years ago, our older child made an appointment with the prints department to see some prints of our artist ancestor, Abraham Hankins, and I went with her. They had so many, and they laid them out on tables for us to see. They were just so kind and professional.

  3. Pingback: #TankaTuesday #Poetry Stars No. 244 | Ekphrastic #PhotoPrompt (Happy Birthday Tanka Tuesday) – 🍂Word Craft: Prose & Poetry🍂

  4. Interesting….
    Your poem minces not the tide of death.
    It’s a great take on the image. It’s from the depression era. That followed the Jazz Age. The style of the art is reminiscent of the twenties, Jazz Age, yet the skeleton tells us good times are over. It also seems to haunt what will come.
    Yes, it is a relevant work of art for today!
    Thank you!

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