“Homemaker” by Mary Meriam

Ekphrastic Challenge, February 2022: Artist’s Choice


Diaphona by Sarah-Jane Crowson, collage of a human-like deer standing near jellyfish

Image: “Diaphona” by Sarah-Jane Crowson. “Homemaker” was written by Mary Meriam for Rattle’s Ekphrastic Challenge, February 2022, and selected as the Artist’s Choice. (PDF / JPG)


Mary Meriam


Mother of Earth, conceive the art of home,
give birth to jellyfish, the start of home.

My drawings screw the seeds to root and grow
to green, the frame of every part of home.

Didn’t she sex the trees from outer space?
Wasn’t blue-black my counterpart of home?

The miles I travel hard until my head
is antlered, both the doe and hart of home.

I have this reaching after flight, this dress
that doesn’t fit, fast birds, my heart of home.

Dismiss my poverty and build for me
a golden house to hang the art of home.

She steers the moon, the clouds that lift and roll
the chariot of time, the chart of home.

Marvel of whales, of mythic story-telling,
of seas that never drift apart, of home.

from Ekphrastic Challenge
February 2022, Artist’s Choice


Comment from the artist, Sarah-Jane Crowson: “I thought that this was such a beautiful ghazal, and that the ghazal form worked so well with the collage form of the artwork. I loved how within each image I can read ideas from the original picture, but I also love how these are taken in a new direction, creating new narratives or possible narratives—the poet’s creative response changing the ideas in the picture, transforming these into something different. I thought that the choice of form also aligned really well with collage as a medium—both, perhaps, thread together images that draw strength from each other whilst being in some ways dislocated. I also really appreciated the technical skill of the poem—how the quafia and radif worked so beautifully together, and the iambic patterning of the poem held it all together.”

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