“Young Medusa in the Fall” by J.P. Dancing Bear

Ekphrastic Challenge, November 2017: Artist’s Choice


Wind-Blown Meadow by Phyllis Meredith

Image: “Wind-Blown Meadow” by Phyllis Meredith. “Young Medusa in the Fall” was written by J.P. Dancing Bear for Rattle’s Ekphrastic Challenge, November 2017, and selected as the Artist’s Choice.

[download: PDF / JPG]


J.P. Dancing Bear


this is how I want to become

in November when all the sugar manifests
into colors: all varieties of rust and gold

if the wind catches a strand of hair
breathes life into it, till it writhes and twists
and hisses—so be it

I had my fill of what others call me
what they want me to be, I’m through
with bickering about labels

listen: there is a hint of frost in the air,
if you stop everything, you can hear
crystals forming

I want that—to be that sharp
and hard and cold—to stare you
into stone, if I must

look: I never asked you to follow me
out here, alone and without notice, if you

stay stuck here, don’t expect me to return

from Ekphrastic Challenge
November 2017, Artist’s Choice

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Comment from the artist, Phyllis Meredith, on this selection: “For me, this is the poem that most matches the mood and the story of the image. This poem really speaks about the stare she is giving. It digs into the soul of this image. While it does mention the wind and her hair, the words then dig deeper and go on to question the meaning behind the look she is giving to the viewer and what she is truly saying. I believe ‘Young Medusa in the Fall’ gets to the heart of ‘Wind Blown Meadow.’ In this image Meadow is thirteen, almost fourteen, years old, the image was taken at twilight on Surfers Point Beach in Ventura, California, where my parents live. She was freezing cold and super mad—she had hit her head and was very upset by that and the strong wind and just how cold it really was that evening at sunset.”

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