Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The New Tantalus

My latest completed work. I'll say right now that this has really fallen short of my initial ideas and expectations. It's definitely not the best poetry I've ever written, but I think it's worth sharing. I'll probably wrok a revision at some point; if I do, I'll be sure to post it. Also, I don't know what this whole drifting-in-and-out-of-rhyming-stanzas-and-free-verse thing is, but I've been doing it all over the place lately, and I'm beginning to wonder if it's simply a sloppy habit that I should nip in the bud now. Your honest opinions?

Thanks, guys. Enjoy!



I am not alone,
For He stands upon that stone.
He looks down on me,
And I've my eye on Him.

It is no punishment,
The anguish He has sent:
Though they say I'm doomed to wallow;
Though they write my history -
I am pleading innocent,
And He pleads with me.
(More than I can swallow,
He's the greatest mystery.)


Just above my head there bends
A supple branch; hang berries red.
Their skin and flesh is plump and ripe.

Here is one fruit unforbidden.

Here is one fruit I cannot have,
But fruit I will one day eat.

I reach up; He pulls it away:
In the brilliance, my knuckles are skinned.
The tender raw of nail beds are scalded by bright juice
(For such sweet meat, it is quite sharp).


This pool, which is just ankle-deep,
Slyly shackles both my feet.

Here is water which flows to quench me.

It is water I cannot taste,
But water I will one day drink.

I crouch down;
He flirts the waves away at the settling of my soles.
He teases for reasons
That I do not yet know.


He plays a hallowed game with me -
I'm neither scared, nor ought to be -
Who could ever want to be free,
Given such filling hunger?

My thirst goes longer. Laugh, you may,
But my throat grows stronger every day -
No matter what the stories say,
My eye is fixed on Him.
He stands alone upon the stone;
I cannot look away.

Yet I'll remain misrepresented,
As only I can know
How I'm not tantalized by water,
But the One from whom it flows.

Olivia Meldrum 2010

1 comment:

  1. As someone who doesn't view religion in quite the same way, I feel compelled to say this poem still speaks to me so much somehow, and I have to keep coming back to read it because the words and ideas are so powerful.