Finds me shipwrecked,
Emerging from last night’s thorn bush
To seek Him; to touch His knees,
To beg His benevolence.
To capture Him.
A spinning cork,
Aegean flotsam drifting closer;
A crab in a cup.
Opaque, age-drunk eyes,
Barnacles blistering between marble toes.
Wave-tackled, upside-down contrapposto,
Face gashed on coral knuckles,
Silt-packed mouth stoppering lungs of sea foam.
His body clogs the tide pool,
Immortal and immobile.
Sea lions’ jaws dislodge Him
And drag Him onto bird-stained beaches
to sun among their scarred bodies
and to hide Him in volcanic caves.
I cannot reach him.
To snare Him is to watch Him become a cheetah and run,
A serpent and strike;
To watch him become brackish water,
To squeeze tighter and to feel Him fall through my hands.
Off Pharos is an original poem written by student Sarah Eubanks in examination of imagist poetry, as studied in English 267: British Literature 1800 to Present. The poem uses Homeric imagery to explore the tension between expectation, reality, and change. The accompanying illustration is also by the author.
This is the author’s first attempt as an adult to write poetry. The author wishes to thank Dr. Rob McLoone for his instruction and kind support this semester. Additional thanks to Professor Sharon Park for the inspiration she supplied in her course, Humanities 211: Art History to the Rennaissance.
Reference Credit for Illustration:
Silanion (?), Bronze Theatrical Mask (Tragedy). 4th Century BCE, Piraeus Archeological Museum, Piraeus. www.piraeus.org/museum.html .