I see in bones and marrow, broken skulls
and crimson ink on parchment scribbled: words
in vain repeated songs of harrow; cull
of reaper: blood on pillow, chest that hurts.
O, welcome footfalls, shadow from his scythe
Tonight at last I gather ash from leaves
I sense his presence, on my flesh incised
the glyphs and signs, his words of grief.
I feel around my neck a tightened noose,
and in my armpits bulbs of pestilence;
my brow is wet, my shallow breath reduced
to meet his numbers and the vigilance
of hallowed harvest and that voice of night,
his whispered warnings, dreams and fright.

Vanitas by  Cornelis Norbertus Gysbrechts

Vanitas by Cornelis Norbertus Gysbrechts

Vanitas – a still-life painting of a 17th-century Dutch genre containing symbols of death or change as a reminder of their inevitability.

I let my sonnet (of sorts) represent the same and link it the Tuesday platforms with the toads.

14 responses to “Vanitas

  1. I’m always excited when I find you have devised a sonnet. I love the way you have not allowed the form or rhyme to dictate the flow of phrasing. This provides for a thought-driven piece within a delicate frame. For me, anything with a memento mori is an instant favourite,.

  2. a harrowing tale of the grim reapers presence, be it a real or dream-scape report
    Thanks for sharing the painting too

    A blessed Tuesday to you Bjorn

    much love…

  3. A nice sonnet, Bjorn. I like the ending, starting with the noose, no turning back with that. Yet, to me,, those words of the reaper hold a small hope.

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