This evening I attended a NCWN online workshop on ekphrastic poetry, lead by Maureen Sherbondy. She offered several famous paintings as prompts and one of them was Pablo Picasso’s Guernica. I’ve been thinking about the Spanish Civil War a lot recently, so I let it inspire me. (For audio enhancement, may I suggest listening to the second movement of Joaquín Rodrigo‘s Concierto de Aranjuez?)



Acrid air burns pustules
at the back of my throat.

Long ago I broke my sword,
pounded it to a plow.

Chose a life of fruitful
labor instead of war.

Why do those who cling
to the past insist

with their bullets
that none may progress?

Why does war come looking
for innocence?

About Bartholomew Barker

Bartholomew Barker is one of the organizers of Living Poetry, a collection of poets and poetry lovers in the Triangle region of North Carolina. Born and raised in Ohio, studied in Chicago, he worked in Connecticut for nearly twenty years before moving to Hillsborough where he makes money as a computer programmer to fund his poetry habit.
This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Guernica

  1. Cassa Bassa says:

    Love the poem, and the music comes as a quiet stream in a desolate land.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lisa Tomey says:

    Why indeed… Penned with an important message.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. -Eugenia says:

    A powerful message!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A fine poem and the audio accompaniment is perfect, picking out the sounds, as your poem picks out the reader’s thoughts. The question asked could lead to many more poems, but in the meantime, I will think on the power of your poem.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s