Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Otto Dix, "Portrait of the Journalist Sylvia von Harden" (1926); POEM: "Portrait Of A Jailed Man"

File:Otto Dix Sy von Harden.jpg

Portrait Of A Jailed Man

Too sudden into a dirty cell
(The charge was separatism)

Tea leaves that blinded him
Left to recant the sunshine

Hands blooded on sharp work
If sleep comes he dare not wake
When Death comes he will sleep
Bullied and pushed by dreams

Last night the girl came again
Dressed for a painted festival
She led him to the river bank
(The charge was dereliction)

In the coolness she stood quiet
And she pointed to the sunset
At how he was disappearing
And what was leaving him forever

Shoved into the muddy river
He raised a shining dagger
He plunged the self-portrait in
The river rolled by as it always did

The picture was unchanging
(The charge was cooperation)

His heart would not stop beating
It was unconscionable neglect

The prisoner awoke in sweat

In faith or in fear trembling
In a language that wasn’t clear
(The charge was extreme poverty)

He remembers the villagers
Sighing for the big day one day
And sitting down with informers
Who swore they'd never tell.

© 2004/2015 Rob Schackne

1 comment:

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