Lines on a Skull
(Haiku Erasure of Lord Byron's "Lines Inscribed Upon a Cup Formed from a Skull")
Start spirit; behold
the skull. A living head loved
earth. My bones resign
the worm, lips to hold
sparkling grape's slimy circle,
shape of reptile's food.
Where wit shone of shine,
when our brains are substitute,
like me, with the dead,
life's little, our heads
sad. Redeemed and wasting clay
this chance. Be of use.
Copyright © 2012 by Ravi Shankar. Used with permission of the author.
Ravi Shankar is the author of Deepening Groove (National Poetry Review Press, 2011) and the forthcoming What Else Could It Be: Ekphrastics and Collaborations (Carolina Wren Press, 2015). He teaches at Central Connecticut State University and in the City University of Hong Kong’s MFA Program. Shankar lives in Chester, Connecticut.
Date Published: 2012-10-29
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/lines-skull