Sunday, July 6, 2014


The men have written the women into stories;
painted them into pictures; allotting
flesh and virtue,
vice but omitting blood.  Captive,

stands at center, at backdrop, jagged hills
and clouded sky. 

She is cloaked in rags of mourning, surrounded,
yet alone.
Arms clasped to chest, head down
like bird at rest.
She protects herself from blades of gaze.

Leighton later frees his brooding image, posing
her deep in dream,
closing the violet eyes
of England’s most beautiful woman,
so that she might not see
the poison that would kill her.

Liberated from laborious mortality, positioned
now as nymph, her sanctuary lies in sea of sleep.
Here, Ada, aka Dorothy Dene
blooms beneath the brush
stroke of a master.

Finally, a reason to be.
in summer slumber,
engulfed in golden
hues like candlelight
that flicker in the distance.

Warmed in still life.
Imagine if you will, relations between
the artist
and his muse; the classicist and his colors;
the fear of lust,
of men; the mission, then,
to cloister
what is mystery, to vilify as sinful,
the simplicity of love.

Or perhaps, blinded
by the spotlight,
inspiration confuses
love with art, envisages romance
kindling in winter,
unaware she’s doomed to neverending May.

Only when finally, flighted
as Iphigenia’s ghost, does she find her voice.
Under authorship of woman, she states
that the lyricists have lied. 
She did not willingly
sacrifice her life, nor did a hind
arrive to take her place.

Weakness strives
then to possess her but myths
no longer
and she reminds her audience
that “women are no good..

Quote from The Gate to Women's Country by Sheri S. Tepper


  1. Fantastic end line...all the might of a Greek classic...and yet the same rule applies today..

  2. Yes, that last line is excellent.

  3. I liked the whole thing and yes, the last line was good!