UNDERWATER- AN EKPHRASTIC POEM

This time, I wrote this poem as part of an ekphrastic prompt based on the painting titled HYLAS AND THE NYMPHS by John William Waterhouse. The painting, in turn, is based on an ancient myth.

My poem was not selected for final publication in that particular capacity but that doesn’t deter me at all as I now get to share it with you. So here it is.

  

          ***
       



       UNDERWATER

He dived deep into the abyss
to be marooned beneath,
as if among Atlantic ruins,
in a city that lives underwater for eternities.

The beguiling voices called out to him,
coming from yonder,
caught in the mesh somewhere between the floating hyacinths
and weeds,

“Hylas, Hylas,
come, let us show you the afterlife
where bodies flit and swim,
coming up for air to the surface,
just like the myth of the mermen.
A netherworld in your reach,
only if you choose to come
and dive deep like a king of the sea”

Words to beguile the enduring ego of youth
Such a fate to divine in those last moments
between leaving shore
and entering a tempestuous watery grave.

Hylas, Hylas
’tis here is your tomb,
your desecrated youth,
the myth that history repeats in leaden circles.
Naive, guileless young lad,
here is your cautionary tale.

***

    

2 thoughts on “UNDERWATER- AN EKPHRASTIC POEM

  1. Very beautiful and haunting poem, PJ. Your poetry always takes me to another time and space and place, and that’s often a very good thing for someone like me who tends to spend more time in fantasy than reality!

    I just love it when you wrote, “my poem was not selected for final publication in that particular capacity but that doesn’t deter me at all as I now get to share it with you.” This is INDEED authenticity. I often get frustrated that others don’t read the God Sonnets I write every morning (have been writing these as such for over a year now….ONLY God!). A few read them but only a few. I’ve come to realize that the writing of these God Sonnets is two-fold (BOTH, as I’m always fond of speaking): For MY healing AND for God’s Glory! If others read them and it’s for THEIR healing and for God’s Glory, that’s just icing on the vegan cake! I hope I only write because God is MY EVERY WORD! If I thought I could only write from my own time and space and place, I would be so limiting the all-encompassing and all-compassionate God….and the all-encompassing and all-compassionate myself!

    I pray what you write is for YOUR healing and whatever Glorification you see fit, as long as it’s not glorification of you. We have already been glorified because “I’M HERE! (sorry….I just had to steal Celie’s life anthem from THE COLOR PURPLE). And I say all of this as more of a note to myself than you, PJ! 😊

    Love and blessings, “my huckleberry friend,”
    Timothy (Mr. T)

    Like

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