To Prometheus Bound

by Oonah V. Joslin

(after an original oil on canvas
by Yorkshire artist Robert Ford)


Ten years since
I heard dark canvas calling,
a skeletal ghost, mouth wide in silent scream,
head thrown back, eyes closed,
shoulders hunched, fingers cringed in pain.
Fragile figure.
Broken frame.

Is that a cloak
or tattered wing you wear?

How your head droops now down and away;
transmuted agony,
exhausted resignation,
a long exhalation of despair.

What elusive colours made you?
Nothing in art is ever black and white.

I see a slit of light;
a window there to your right
casting a pool of hope upon the floor.
I interpret the spirit of a door;
steps leading up through you.

You have not yet been painted long
my friend. Does it seem eternity?

I spoke in kindness yet you turn in anger.
Gone in an instant. You pity human kind.
Wear penance Whitby-black. Your
undying fingers grip the rock.
You are a prayer stretched thin. Bone,
kneeling in the dark,
humbled by hope;
brought to your knees by love.

We are kin longer than this decade past
and that first day you called to me.
I thought I’d discovered all at last;
yet just now you reached out towards
that box.

Can you lock it? Do you hold the key?
Well, I will forgive you, if you will forgive me.


Copyright © 2013 by Oonah V. Joslin

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