Thursday, June 14, 2012

“About suffering...”

Consider Brueghel's painting

'The Flailing of St. Anthony'.

The suffering saint in the foreground,

in the background, a boy skating

and a man climbing an apple tree.

Man and boy seem oblivious

of the saint's agony;

but he has his back turned from them

as if unaware there are witnesses.

The events are simultaneous,

but not connected in any way.

For many years, I have managed my pain

by remaining outside the painting.

Yes, pain has been at the fore front,

but I have still enjoyed

pond and apple tree,

birds and walnut tree.

But recently the pain levels

have increased;

I have found myself

drawn into the painting,

have identified with the flailed figure

and have ignored everyday life,

which has receded away from me

in both space and time.

I am not happy about this.

My prayer for the future is

that I learn to cope with the pain,

dissociate myself from the painting

and appreciate once more

the ordinariness of life:

a man picking apples,

a boy skating in sunlight.


  1. Diana, I hope your prayer is answered.

  2. Diana,when I read any new poem I feel as if I'm stealing. I eagerly look for new work from a brilliant woman who is living in the extremes. Few people have the gifts and education to offer poetry like this ... if there is any other poetry like this.