Along the curving beak of its shadow
the eye of the flame tracks light on the muzzle,
sockets that gleam, mosaic front teeth,
the goat’s skull is rapt, in mesmerised interest;
by the empty tilt of its skull
the skull is akin to the bottle,
both calcified down, like the skin of the wall
nothing is brittle. The bottle, half full or empty,
in the glass of its heart holds a vertical drill,
an ink-blotted pupil, the goat flame.
All things conform to these hinges and horns,
shards of a brain, the empty-headedness of the thing,
this animal sense of a skull, lit by a candle
in a bottle on a table otherwise dark:
still life where there is none at all.
Dominic James lives in SW England with his partner, Helen. He joins poetry meetings along the Thames Valley and is a member of Richmond's Bright Scarf group. His collection Pilgrim Station is available through SPM Publications and his blog has a hungry look at: http://djamespoetic.blogspot.com/
The Ekphrastic Review
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