Ekphrastic Poetry from Mark Young

Representation II

The orchestra under the cypress

tree kicks into life. A few bars;

& then the scene we’re watching

on the small screen is replicated

on a larger canvas that still permits

the original viewing platform to

be included in the corner, picture-

within-picture style, framed by

the only thing that might be a

goal were it not for the pawn on

top. Or maybe it was the other

way around & downsizing has

occurred. No spectators to see

the “world game” shrunk to three

a-side. The château now a simple

manor house. A lone pianola.

Rene Magritte, Representation II, 1962

L’esprit et la forme (1928)

There is much to

sing about here.

The glass of water.

The fish out of it

but still swimming

happily around. The

pawn, token of a

game she has just

learnt but is much

taken by. Which she

has natural advant-

ages in since she can

float above it & read

the play as easily as

she can read the myst-

eries of the sea floor.

René Magritte, L’esprit et la forme , 1961

Tous Les Jours

Up here in the mountains

it is an everyday thing

to come across vestiges of

earlier climbers &/or the oc-

casional earlier painting.

They may present as tracks

in the earth or discarded

equipment. Sometimes as

ghosts or holograms. Stare

at the latter for long enough

& they sometimes become

embarrassed, begin to speak.

In a thin voice that still 

sparks echoes, this one says:

“I was once the star of The

Age of Enlightenment. Now

the world has forgotten

me. Am I not still beautiful?”

René Magritte, Tous les jours, 1966

La Marchande de Sable

Legerdemain & sympathetic

magic are not confined only

to my paintings. Sometimes

I moonlight as the sandman,

tell stories that throw sand

into the listeners’ eyes to

foster dreams that render the

invisible visible. Georgette is

happy just to watch me work;

but on occasion, when I wish

to explain more fully what is

beneath, behind, the current

painting, I sprinkle sand into

her eyes to make her sleep. She

smiles at my explanations; &

at the pipe I leave beside her to

remind her where we’ve been.

René Magritte, la marchande de sable , 1936

1 thought on “Ekphrastic Poetry from Mark Young

  1. Great work Mark. Enthralling!
    I love the way you weave a narrative parallel to the paintings.

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