Friday, August 19, 2011


(a reflection on Gustav Courbet’s Burial at Onan and his exchange of romanticism for realism)
The corpse: clay-molded
tint and timbre of living being,
gaspless, tearless, hidden,
like life’s mourners stolid, lifeless
obscuring thoughts of self-demise.

The priest alone cradles hope
but repetitious, death fatigues
like the Christ of the crucifix
A cruel staccato rat-a-tat-tat
until, in our numbness,
we give up our own souls
to the pit

And one kneeling at the grave looks up.
Is that all you have:
dirt and dust and soul in the sky?
No tear for loss,
only the book and crucifix
and another who dies as we.

Even the dog looks away
but you, your darkened tones
speak your melancholy melody
Orphaned, distanced,
darkness is all you know.
Your heart bangs shut
in violent storm
Scattered shadows locked within
a heart that will not see.

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