The Illustrated Man

You could see the scars
where coloured ink sank deep,
making patterns in his flesh;
deeper than a love
which prompted the first cut,
one drunken night on shore leave
in some long forgotten port;
when Stacy was his girl,
decorated with a rose.

Then a panther leapt to mind,
embedding its image into the skin
of his back;
a dark shadow to protect him
from danger of surprise attack.
But its blind eyes
never saw the knife,
when he lost his life
in a bar room brawl.

The world had gradually
coloured him in,
etching out a journey
from Far East to Babylon,
across all the oceans.
The devil sat at his shoulder
so he knew where to find him.
A dragon on his right arm,
snake and dagger on the left.
At night in fractured dreams, they’d fight,
breathing fire and spitting
reptilian venom.

It seemed a shame to bury him,
he really belonged in a gallery.
But the sea accepted
without any fuss,
the man whose imagination
was for all to see,
drawing attention to himself.

The Illustrated Man

Nigel Bangert

Joined June 2010

  • Artist
    Notes
  • Artwork Comments 6

Artist's Description

Published in Peer Poetry, April 1997.

Artwork Comments

  • Nancy Ames
  • Nigel Bangert
  • MotherNature
  • Nigel Bangert
  • Ann  Warrenton
  • Nigel Bangert
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