A Skull

Michiel Sweerts, Flemish, 1618–1664, Self-Portrait with Skull, c.1661. Oil on canvas,

I hold in my hand, my finger thrusting

deeply as I grasp this orb and gasp,

oh passionate one, our love once

ached and swooned, but now your

skull lies resting in my hand,

drained of all its bloom

it once held.


The asp so carefully hidden is he?

Neath the sinew left there for his

feeding, as he wiggles, and slithers

his grasp holds tightly, wrapped

around those unforgiving eyes

now hollow.


This orb once attached so firmly

to a spine, and bosom so plump,

yet so delicate in her nature,

she was a lamb led to slaughter

with the hemlock she drank,

a witness to her demise as she

turned pallor and stank.


His finger locked and clenched

within as reflections of her wild

eyed outbursts causing him to

sin, sending worms flushing

through that nose for the asp

to ravenously digest, as she

slipped into hell without even

giving notice.


Let this artist turn his face,

and the brush strokes be his prize,

while this orb stuck so strikingly

remains a reminder to all, do not

mix hemlock with oils as they

both will be your demise.


© Copyright Vincent Moore 2013. All Rights Reserved.



A Skull — 5 Comments

    • Yes I thought so, I had gone to the art gallery to see 100 Masters, it ends tomorrow. This photo caught my eye and I decided to make my story from it. And yes my friend, the quill is no longer in use, technology has taken over. ha ha

    • Well thank you dear poet Nellieanna Hay, much appreciated. I visited our local art gallery, they had a tour of the 100 Masters and this was just one of the many, it intrigued me.

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