From Rattus: Bears the Punishment (poem)

Posted by ractrose on 1 Jun 2021 in Art, Poems

Oil painting of white barked trees and water soaked field




Bears the Punishment


I am proof of God’s existence

Proof, to assemble it, I construct in opposition

I make the non of a thing its being

I am the eye of the storm

Meaning seeks me

I am taught by taped confessions

Flakes of soul reduplicated

Defenestrated stiffs of history

Waters that lead critics of mediocrity

To heaviness, from which the caste of angels

Grants you art, by human hand created

What to the buryiage of true minds

Admits wrong-footedness

The cast of characters were these

An unwise crone, a witch, a servant

What says the first, entering a crayoned roadway

How, the director wants to know, does the audience

Get from her the essential message

“Too sure of myself,” is her suggestion

“I did what seemed citizenly, when no one yet

had bought and sold the assets of authority, when

you obeyed them, if they asked your silence.”

(On pain of death)

And what of witches, are they too, made less and more

than they ought to be, still dressed in the conical hat but

Made to cackle empowerment in corset and fishnet

What motivates you?

“My role is to stand and hear, be my own claim of innocence

To carry like other green persons of myth

a burden of public toxicity.”



“I forget what was the original idea of me.”




Bears the Punishment
Oil painting three alley cats

Caught Alone














(2019, Stephanie Foster)




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