Monday 20 June 2022

Doors as inspiration


I love the beautiful old doors you see on mainland Europe so I was drawn to Lisa Tivey's photography. Here is a poem prompted by one of her photographs of an old door in Italy covered with Graffiti and boarded up. It was first published in the Poets Meet Painters Anthology.

 I thought about the crosses that were once drawn on the doors of plague victims in Italy and the poem evolved from there. 

The plague was initialled believed to be a sign of god's wrath. 

Lisa Tivey

Using the above link you can easily pick out the door featured in the poem.

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

 Copyright 2018 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

1 comment:

  1. "the plague is not fussy, just hungry" - love that line!