Poem up at The Ekphrastic Review

benediction s

My poem “Benediction” was among the responses to the painting “El Purgatorio”, by Cristobal Rojas, posted on The Ekphrastic Review last week.  You can see the painting (which inspired the collage above) and read all the poems here.

Thanks to guest editor Janette Schafer for providing the visual inspiration and choosing my work, and to Ekphrastic Review editor Lorette C. Luzajic for her continued support for the interaction between the visual and written arts.

benediction close up 1s

I wrote a few poems for this challenge, as I found Rojas’ painting to be full of questions.  Here’s another one:

benediction close up 2s

On the Edge (of)

The warmth is
sweet, tempting—it calls
on us for
dreams to fill expectations,
push away the void,

the unseen
emptiness behind
the black hole
that follows
waiting, waiting, hungry for
the secrets we hide–

we follow
only ourselves, a
pathway of
regrets, misunderstandings,
lifetimes left behind–

what is out
side is indistinct,
blurred, unknown–
no stars guide
us—just the cries of the lost,
telling us to fly.

benediction close up 3s




13 thoughts on “Poem up at The Ekphrastic Review

    1. Thanks Jane. Religious art seems to capture something that all the religious leaders and their narrow words fail to see. Purgatory is a strange concept anyway.


      1. Isn’t the idea of Purgatory one that the reformed church had trouble with? Understandable if it was. I wrote a couple of poems to this prompt and got absorbed in a re-write and forgot to enter them. I might post one today.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. It is. I think that because artists were obliged to stick to religious subjects, whatever their own faith or lack of it, they treated them with a lot more depth and ambiguity that the flat dictates of the Church rule books.

            Liked by 1 person

  1. Congratulations, Kerfe! I like both poems, perhaps the second one more, and the collage. The female figure at the top is like an avenging angel, but I thought of Joan of Arc. I think it’s her metallic-looking breastplate. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Merril. The painting, like so much Central and South American art, stands between the Catholic Church and the ancient beliefs. The ambiguity is great for inspiration. Joan of Arc–I like that.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your first poem expresses well the futility of demanding expectations that mean nothing, when all is said and done.
    Your collage is filled with fitting elements.
    “mobius pathway” in your second poem is apropos.

    Liked by 1 person

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