Friday 11 August 2017

Plague Door

Again a poem prompted by a photograph of an old door in Italy boarded up and covered with Grafitti. I thought about the crosses that were once drawn on the doors of plague victims and the poem evolved from there. The plague was initialled believed to be a sign of god's wrath. Lisa Tivey has a studio, The Open Window Gallery, in Rathmines, Co Dublin and another, Holly Tree Studio, Bantry, West Cork.

Plague Door

The plague is not fussy, just hungry.
And this door never did recover from its daubed
red cross, its pile of bodies, black ulcerated, buboes
the size of an apple. Punishment meted out
by heavenly bodies, atonement for our
inequities, the wrath of God against which
no appeal prevailed.

Centuries later it comes back.
No paint to daub on paint peeled door.
Just nails and planks of wood and
ghosts quarantined now, as they were
then, when no-one would trade or breathe
contaminated air or share their
misfortune. And then for bedevilment
some flippant boy, some modern day town watchman,
a pot of errant paint in hand, daubs willy-nilly,
stigma, that proclaims you dead.

Inspired by Lisa Tivey’s Calabrian Steps

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