Our era’s killed the nymphs who used to play
their naked games in now-denuded groves
mown down and mangled by modern machines
with metal spikes that speared our former loves.
Goddesses, faeries, naiads – all are dead
and buried beneath cold grey concrete blocks;
every mythical being’s dissected –
and Pandora’s locked away inside a box.
All mermaids have been drowned in poisoned seas;
all graces killed within the last three years;
all angels have had their huge wings pulled off
by realism – powered by real fears.
The final nymph died bloodily today –
as we give life, so we take it away.
Poem: Nymphs © R J Dent (2009)
Painting: Nymphs by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (November 30, 1825 – August 19, 1905)