Hansel and Gretel are Lost
for the artist – Rob Barber (Rob Steenhorst)
Your pressed velour, socks tight and bright, hair combed and neat
Crisp innocence stopped upon a path with pink-flushed cheeks,
Are you not afraid? There’s a big bare ogre posed behind,
Spoon in hand, without a bowl and no main course on which to dine.
But no, you’re not perturbed, perplexed nor anxious as you slowly go
lost and yet serene, step by step, protected now from ancient childhood foes.
With lanterns in your hands clutched tight, walking while the light grows dim,
No fear pervades your small parade; you’re simply not afraid of him.
Both from a home that feeds and clothes you, with kind parents always hovering
Security has been their motto, under watchful eyes, and tucked -in coverings.
He melts into irrelevance, now flushed afar from nighttime stories,
No more chasing little children just like you, through poppy fields of morning glories.
The wolves who blow down huts of straw, or inside cabins wait and hide
pursuing you through penciled trees, teeth gnashing hard, mouths open wide.
They too are being condemned and sent away, for bad press they’ve received
And are vanishing from the storybooks, as no longer safe to hear or read.
And witches with their boiling pots, fattening children up to sup and dine
Are questioned for their inner meanings, then purged from bedtime’s story-lines.
It’s pretty ponies and talking cars and moppets with a social stance;
It’s dragons and wizards who can be tamed and used for a less scary dance.
And if your grandma frightens you with an ancient tale from a Brother’s Grimm
You could call the social services, have her hauled away on a moral whim.
Now you’ll no longer know about the Trolls, except those who haunt your parent’s blogs
And Giants, grinding bones to make their bread, are thrown into a trough for hogs.
This ogre plonked in place behind – hungry, shocking, seeming almost kind,
Is fading away into the backdrop without you paying him any mind.
Just maybe he’s pointing the way back home or maybe he’s sadly saying goodbye,
For soon no doubt, you’ll find your way, while he dissolves – a blind spot in your eye.
Invisible forever – No, he’ll never be a part of future nursery tales or rhymes,
His moment’s over, he has no place, in our suspicious and protective modern times.
Nov. 26, 2015
LINC Island SL
* Footnote: Rob Barber has been inspiring my poetry since 2011. I met him in Second Life, and found his art to be always, thought provoking, beautifully painted, and hypnotic. He has been a visual muse since that first moment, and this poem is the 5th I have written for his works. You can see the others here on my blog, and I include his online gallery and his facebook page too. He has not seen my poem yet as of this posting, but has given me, once again, permission to “riff off” his art. My interpretation is just that, mine, and I found it a challenging but compelling piece to find the right words for. I encourage all to wander through his vast collection of a lifetime of art.
My Beloved Moth’s Burning Flame