On False Perspective

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Most writers and poets say a poem should stand on its own without reference to an image, if that is what triggered the poem. While I agree, I find this drawing so fascinating, I have no hesitation in posting it with my poem! No doubt my attempt doesn’t do justice to the drawing, but there you have it. The technical term for poems which re -interpret other works of art is, Ekphrasis.

On False Perspective

After William Hogarth

See how our concave faces confront contradiction,

we can never read what’s inside; each daily meeting

gouges a deeper groove. Lets face the facts

to avoid false perspective: from a mile away

a man lights his pipe from a candle

held by an apparition leaning from a window next to us.

Sheep grow as big as cows as they wander into the distance;

we stand still as the path beneath our feet speeds along;

a rock face descends as we cling to its cragginess;

horses stand while the bridge moves under their hooves.

*

Two-faced Phil folds into a clock tower; waits his chance to strike.

*

The moon in a dewdrop shows its full face

yet we can’t see both sides of a church

if we stand in one place. Two-faced Phil

jumps out and strikes his lover dead. The murderer’s

reckless act can only return to innocent reflection

in the moonlit depths of a puddle.

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