Tuesday, 13 September 2011


“Out of her favour, where I am in love.” - William Shakespeare

A grim picture with a terrible title for this week’s Magpie Tales challenge: Andrew Wyeth’s “The Revenant” painted in 1949. An apt choice perhaps for the sad anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy. However, as soon as I saw it, my mind filled in the lower left of the painting where the man’s hand was cut off. What was he holding? A flower of course, for whom? I needed to fill in more, and I did. A tale of forbidden love, deceit, discovery and punishment. A love that transcends death and haunts the revenants…

The Revenants

The moon how loud she howls tonight
As she-wolf glares with shining eyes;
The pallid flowers glow with a deathly light
By graveside growing, under leaden skies.

The dead man shifts in his sleep and wakes
As midnight strikes the witching hour;
He lifts his bony hands and legs he shakes
His face skeletal, grey, unsmiling, dour.

The wind in nearby pond reflections shatters
In sparkling waters fracturing the moon;
In murky depths the moonlight quickly scatters,
To vivify the drowned woman of the lagoon.

She turns, she swims, her red hair tosses
And swiftly upwards she floats and rises,
Picking the hyacinths, and the dank mosses
A chaplet for to make and adorn her guises.

The full moon’s shrill cries she hearkened
Just as the wolf’s red-eyed glare he espied;
And as clouds waft and moonlight’s darkened,
A monthly rendezvous they tenderly abide.

He leaves the grave, she quits the lake,
They run to cross the barren churchyard;
A meeting to relieve eternal heartache
A few moments ease for two souls scarred.

They fall into each other’s cold embrace
And momentarily caress and sweetly kiss;
Is it the lake’s water on her bony face,
Or is it tears welling from her heart’s abyss?

The star-crossed lovers gaze at each other
With thirsty eyes whose love’s unquenched;
Their endless kisses, airless lungs smother
Their fingers tangled, in each other’s clenched.

The moon she starts from clouds to peer,
The magic’s broken it’s time again to part.
The wolves stand by motionless and leer,
As lovers cleave, again to break their heart.

He to the sepulchre goes, she to the pool,
And in his hands clasps a withered flower;
Their fate unhappy and their lot so cruel,
The face of destiny on them does glower.

She languished married to a lord, whom she deceived;
He dared to claim her, and both the lord’s wrath received…


  1. by incorporating that pic to something beautiful is already wonderful. plus the good story... love it!


  2. sad their moments are so short, fleeting, when their love is obviously so real

  3. I actually adored your intro...especially the last line...haunts the revenant
    Interesting idea
    nice magpie

  4. This is excellent and eerie....as is the painting itself.

  5. Wow. Do you hear me clapping? Applause, applause. I am so impressed, not only by the haunting and romantic storyline, but also by your ability to carry out the rhyme scheme of your poem (an extended sonnet?) It flows beautifully and doesn't seem at all forced. This is definitely one of my favorites for this prompt. Great job!

  6. I love the way you have altered the painting to suit your tragic poem. Forbidden love lost.

    Your poetry never disappoints.

  7. I really like this one, Nicholas! The poem just flows and tells the story implicit in the image wonderfully!

  8. It;s such a change to read some metrical, rhymed poetry in which the writer has paid some attention to the sound the words make. And the poem makes sense.! Thank you

  9. Oh, Nicholas, I have to agree with Lola and Lucy here. This ones a topper and the pic editing does the prompt justice! 1st class..!

  10. Oh, Nicholas, I have to agree with Lola and Lucy here. This ones a topper and the pic editing does the prompt justice! 1st class..!

  11. powerful right from the first line

  12. Brilliant piece that sent shivers through me.

  13. Chilling, beautiful write...I, too, wondered about the hand...

  14. you are very creative here.

    the image reinvention is brilliant.

  15. Hohoho,

    What charming poetry you have posted here.

    Invite you to share 1 to 3 poems with us, anything could fit the theme of object,

    Hope to see you in.

    Happy Writing..