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Guernica at the Prado

by Jack D. Harvey

For a year or more
I looked and looked at it
in my soul,
lived under the spell
of Picasso’s baleful
grey and black fandango
of a bombed town,
a farrago of agonies
of bull and horse,
parts of people
caught and displayed
in sharp outline;
then it became too fine,
too perfect in its kind,
too much to take
and I had to turn away,
turn my mind and eye,
try to isolate and
banish the pieces,
try to burn away the vision
of that monstrous canvas,
bury a pretense, a practice,
a sacrifice of time;

none of it worked.

Never forgotten,
that huge ghastly swipe
of paint haunts me still,
hurts me and will
until the end of its world,
ending as it did,
and the end of mine.

Copyright © 2020 by Jack D. Harvey

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