Ekphrastic Poem on Peter Blume's The Rock
The Rock in The Desert
In the middle of an arid desert,
Surrounded by broken trees and
Rocks lying all around. Somewhere in
The desert lies The Rock. The Rock
That is revered by all, the Rock, where all life
Prospers and dies around it, moss growing beside
Bones of animals and orange flowers blooming.
The Rock is the staple
Of our society. Our entire
Life is based around
The entity through drought, storms, fire,
And turmoil, we always rebuild
Around The Rock.
The lady in the orange dress can always
Be seen mourning, or perhaps she is praying to
The Rock, but no one really knows.
She is always sitting there,
Arms towards The Rock, while men can be seen
Building a brick building as
Our old building was destroyed
During the great shoe war.
All of our shoes were valuable, the
Leather in our shoes, priced in the millions.
Every night bandits would raid our town for such luxurious possessions.
Shoes were a commodity of the old world, before
Nuclear war and global warming, when
Trees were green and alive inside.
Only the elders know, which only one remains to
Fan the flames of our campfires,
On the concrete ruins of civilization.
Such radiation lead to our deformation,
In the face and extremities. Large feet and slightly
Deformed heads were the new social norm. Joey,
The man in the white tank top was once
Six foot one and a decent looking man
Who is now reduced to a husk of a
Man with bad back posture and terrible eyesight,
Along with a fresh scar on his eyebrow from a recent tussle.
None wear shoes because of such feet problems, but
People still find value in such shoes and the war for them continues.
Back to The Rock:
A young man works below The Rock,
Digging for water under our life giver and
Behind him an expanse of dead trees
With tan, dead grasslands. Soon this man
Will be a rock chiseler, just like his father in teal who
Wastes his days away, chiseling at stone slabs
With a fire axe and railroad nail for his tools.
His accomplices help him lift the slabs
For he has such frail arms that could snap
like a twig at any moment.
Further to the left, we can see their payoffs:
A fine courtyard and brick-built building, along with
Cranes made of old copper pipes and ropes of dead grass
That help to raise green wheelbarrows of misshapen bricks.
Soon will have to stall while as they see the apparent gray
Storm clouds rolling in with Gray clouds filled with acid rain and
Uranium-234 radiation, plus a helping of hail and lightning!
Life around The Rock might seem dull, laborious, and dangerous,
But it is the one who keeps us alive through all of this. The Rock is mysterious,
But we love and worship The Rock.
The Rock, by Peter Blume, is more than just an average painting, and this is why I wrote an ekphrastic poem on it. On the surface, it might seem like a normal painting, showing us the aftermath of some type of disaster. In reality, there is something more to this painting. The painting’s namesake, The Rock, is the item of interest within this painting. It is its own entity, it has its own presence to it, becoming the main character of it almost. This is what I wrote upon, the rock in the painting being its own entity, but I also thought about what I said before where it seemed as though something had happened within the painting. The different actions that were frozen within this painting tell a story. This story, in my opinion, tells of a post-apocalyptic society, centered around the rock in the painting. This is why I wrote about things like a “Shoe War” and radiation. I took what I thought was a possible hidden story within the painting, along with other small details, and decided to be sort of weird but creative with it. I tried to write about the different sections of the painting, each with their own actions in it that combine into a loose story that we can fill in the details to. This painting was painted about two weeks after the end of WWII, with the painting being thought to have depicted the bombing of Britain, in which the rock symbolizes Britain and it persevering through it even though there is a man digging out the bottom of it, and the under construction portion and destroyed building being the various stages of infrastructure after the fact