Thursday, April 13, 2006

"First Days" a new cycle of poems

I am currently working on a cycle of poems that follows the first family from its expulsion from the Garden to the murder of Abel.

I am using this story to explore several psychological themes and images that concern me.

In working with these images I am reminded of several paintings that I admire, housed in the Musee d'Orsay in Paris. I have stood for many hours studying them.

One, Deux Mères by Leon-Maxime Faivre, 1888, upsets our expectation of the vagaries of primitive life and romantically and dramatically pictures a woman engaged in mortal combat to protect her children.

First Day

I sharpened a stick and burned the end black outside the gates.

She squatted and pissed on the trail. I groaned and growled
Disappointed that she would so defiantly mark our way for the giants.

We dug potatoes from the black earth with my stick and picked berries.
Black juice ran down our faces. I cooked potatoes in the ash of a dying fire.

We slept together, our naked bodies pressed
against a limestone rock, while frigid winds tore at my back.

Wolves howled louder than the night on the green plain.

Copyright © 2006 by Keith William Harvey. All rights reserved.

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