|The Isle of the Dead|
Arnold Bocklin (1883)
When the saint came to our shores
we mistook him for a man,
come to walk among monsters
and bleed at our hands.
There was satisfaction
in strewing his bones in the market place;
but we could not silence his voice:
“There is only one war.”
So we reduced him to ashes
and fed him to a wind which took to howling:
“Hatred is never found
among the dead on your battlefield.”
There is a hunger
so much like the elusive moonlight
which I love but cannot fathom.
It pervades the present
as I sink into the damp grass at midnight
spreading out my hair beneath Mars.
It is the voice with a question:
“What matter your single happiness
when there are so many stars?”
And the author wrote:
“But for eternity is when the iron bites.”
Then he rested his pen.
While the muse has been silent, the inner voice has not, offering me a few one-liners over the last few weeks.
Brendan's Sunday Mini-Prompt asks us to respond in writing to the voice, sifting through the 'faintly discordant hubbub'.. this I have done, gathering up these pieces of drift wood.
Acknowledgements (The Other Voices):
Inside the Ink with Magaly
I chose this quote from the last novel I read, The French Lieutenant's Woman, by John Fowles:
“But suddenly he comprehended why her face haunted him, why he felt this terrible need to see her again: it was to possess her, to melt into her, to burn, to burn, to burn to ashes on that body and in those eyes. To postpone such a desire for a week, a month, a year, several years even, that can be done. But for eternity is when the iron bites.” John Fowles
Literary Excursions with Kerry
My prompt got me reading Rainer Maria Rilke:
"Fate does not only claim your happiness, it also wants your pain back and your tears and buys the ruin as something useless, old."
And let Leonard Cohen have the final word: