Daniel Brick


Minotaur


I
We delighted in the sweetness of grass.
We rejoiced in the fragrance of rain.
We sought only readiness in sleep.
TOGETHERNESS was our motto.

Our desires entwined like summer vines.
We drank wine pressed from the purest grapes.
We anointed our heads with fresh oils.
Who can tell us this was not love?


II
Must I burn my dearest book?
Must I rip the yellow threads from my
favorite gown?
Must I choke on the choicest fruits?
Must I sleep always in an unlocked room?

Yes, yes, yes... yes.


III
Some of us are innocent.
Some of us claim innocence in firm voices.
Some of us stammer, fall silent, then start over,
with bowed heads.

All of us are on the move.
I, for instance, have loaded a cart with my things.
It contains everything I need for eternal life,

The weight is crushing my remaining strength.
I can no longer look at what's ahead.
I twist backwards, staring at the grooves
my heavy cart carves.

Is this the path my friends will follow?
Will my enemies find it first?
Should I hoard these things, or discard them?


IV
Escape by sea! Stride
on board, grab hold
of the mast, turn
the sail into the wind.
Throw back your horned head
and bellow again and again.

Escape by sea? Crawl
along the wet sand, adjust
the broken sword
in your gut, gaze
across the water. Throw back
your horned head and howl.


V
Finally, this is my fate.
This is my drawn-out end:
stumbling, panting,
waving my mighty arms
in the unresisting air.

A child walks ahead of me,
holding my rough hand, guiding
my staff. She cradles
sheaths of wheat and barley.

Their fragrance reminds me
of wide meadows, of tilled fields
I crossed without fear
during my days of glory.

Now, just a shaking outcast,
I stretch out my hand
and touch the girl's hair.
She does not shiver or recoil.
Such a joy I never knew before.

Submitted: Friday, April 25, 2014

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Pablo Picasso chose the MINOTAUR as his alter ego sometime in the early 1930's when the magazine MINOTAURE was current. With his astounding versatility, the figure of the Minotaur underwent many variations. Because of this almost maniacal creativity, it is impossible to find a coherent message in these works. So I developed
a possible storyline, but in no way do I mean these five poems to represent Picasso's conception. He exists out there in his stunning genius, abundant, shining, complete. These poems are just shadows
created by the brilliance of his sun.

All five are based on particular drawings or watercolors which can be seen in a variety of Picasso books. The first poem is based on a picture of a woman singing while the Minotaur listens. The second portrays a rape. The woman speaks these two poems.

The Minotaur speaks the other three. He attempts to escape after his crime in the third. In the fourth, he first imagines he has escaped by sea in a boat, and then realizes he has been grievously wounded.
In the last poem, blinded, humbled and harmless, he is cared for by a child.

Comments about this poem (Minotaur by Daniel Brick )

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  • Diane Hine (4/26/2014 1:29:00 AM)

    I found the drawing which inspired your fifth poem. These days we feel sorry for the minotaur, poor outcast that he was. I think that drawing and your poetic interpretation of it is a perfect conclusion. Your style is always fresh, never laboured. (Report) Reply

  • Tanya Gupta (4/25/2014 9:25:00 AM)

    its a great dedication to picasso.

    so great, keep writing..
    come and read my poems.

    tanya. (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »

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