• Elyse Weaver

Repose after Ruin

Inspired by Giovanni Paolo Panini’s “Saint Paul Preaching Among the Ruins” (1750)


Gliding between pastel wool,

Marble eyes pivot.

Their pale and lifeless beholder yearns

For the rose warmth

Enfolding the parchment-haired speaker.


Like scattered leaves in a rippling pond

Words float along the twilight breeze

And reach the cold stone ears of the statue

Standing separate from the vibrant followers

Who cling to the radiant hope upon the speaker’s voice.


Among skeletal stone remains

Circled by the bright faces of eager youth

A man clad in cascading carnation

Transports his accumulation of devotees

To the past

And to their future


Further the dusty sun sinks

Softly summoning the spectators home

And away from the brambled ruin

Of a long-forgotten city,

But the marble, enduring, remains

1 view