“Grief Is” my seventeenth ekphrastic response for National Poetry Month prompted by another painting showing the verve of Marcel Herms.
a merciless hunter
who lives in the forest of our hearts
Terrorises the birds and animals
who live there.
Grief goes out into the forest every morning
with a stick and net. One day, it throws its net
traps a female pigeon in it. Soon, thick and black clouds appear in the sky. It rains Scared and shivering Grief looks for shelter and finds it under a huge oak tree. Rain and gust stop.. Skies clear, stars shine. Grief says loudly,
“If there is anyone on the tree, I seek shelter and food from them. I’m hungry and may faint any moment. Please save me.”
A pigeon that nests on the same tree worries that his wife has gone out and not come back. It prays to Gods that his wife not come to any harm in this gust and rain.
Pigeon agreed with his wife that
even at the cost of their own lives they must rescue those who seek shelter. Serve those in need with devotion. Don’t hate them.
Pigeon tells Grief, “Welcome to our modest home. Please let me know what I can do for you. Treat this as own home and feel free to command me.
Grief tells the pigeon that he suffers from cold and needs relief. Pigeon flies out, brings fire from somewhere and a lights a small fire with dry twigs asks Grief to warm itself.
Pigeon tells Grief, “Because of my past deeds, I’m born poor and unfortunate and dont have enough to feed myself. What is life if you can’t entertain a guest?
Pigeon tells Grief to wait a while
it’ll have food. Pigeon circles the fire,
Jumps into the fire it lit for the benefit of Grief
Grief tells itself, “Pigeon is a great soul, its shown me. I’ll give up all. Nothing, neither cold nor blaze nor gust, matter to me. I’ll fast and see my slow finish.”
It releases the female pigeon from its net.
Life without her husband is worse than death,
She leaps into the same fire.
Grief shuns worldly pleasures,
burns itself in the forest fire of our hearts