Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Valentine's Day greeting from my friend, the poet Joan Gelfand

Joan Gelfand

Cupid lies. With a full belly, and half smile
He dreams of the perfect shot, a bulls-eye of love!
A love that lasts a while.

One wing over his chest, one wing in repose,
Even in sleep, he cannot forget the lovers.
In readiness, he clutches his bow.

Cupid, our original baby, eternal angel
Relishes the job, don’t you think?
The challenge:
A skillful game of calculated alignment.

Or, does he dream of darker tasks --
Getting out of the business perhaps?

Oh, Caravaggio, did you really cry for love?
You sketched Cupid and legions of critics
Spent their lives unraveling your dueling passions
For a whore, and paint. Did Cupid do you wrong?
Did his arrow miss its mark?

Here’s the truth, or at least the way I see it.
Cupid was recruited for the job by his maker -- Caravaggio too.
Two destinies, one diabolical feast.

Inspired by “Amore Dormiente” by Caravaggio on display in the Pitti Palace, Florence, Italy
"Cupid" was recently published in "Oakland Out Loud" the PEN Anthology which includes such literary lights as Al Young, Ishmael Reed and Lucille Lang Day. To learn more about Joan, please visit:

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