Poetry Sisters Project — October, 2016

My pals and I have taken on quite a few ekphrastic challenges this year because, well — because we like them and we’re in charge! This month, Kelly provided the inspiration.


This statue, Arlequin, is by Rene de Saint-Marceaux and lives at the Musee des Beaux Artes in Lyon, France. I love this piece — it came alive for me completely and resulted in this:

By Liz Garton Scanlon

Hello, masked rascal, boy king,
Peter Pan with the cocky stance.

I knew you in high school,
you asked me to dance

and acted like it was my idea,
you threw frisbee, had a flask

were so sure that you could fly
and the water tower cried its siren cry.

But here’s the thing
with myths, they bleed together –

you’re a harlequin, an Icarus,
to the manor born and Shakespeare’s fool.

And what I want to say to you
is this: unmask the eyes,

obey the rules, grow up a bit.
It isn’t easy here, but harder

when you’re counterfeit.


You’ll want to see what the others have done, too!
Sara Lewis Holmes
Tanita Davis
Kelly Ramsdell Fineman
Tricia Stohr-Hunt
Laura Purdie Salas

And Poetry Friday’s being celebrated over at Violet Nesdoly’s place — enjoy!

Posted on 10/07/2016 05:52 am


  1. This might be one of my favorites of all your Poetry Sisters poems. It’s just so…precise and personal and powerful. That line: “I knew you in high school; you asked me to dance” sets up everything that follows—and I’m persuaded to read it again and again- Really, really lovely.


  2. Kelly Ramsdell Fineman

    Ohh – LOVE this! And yes, Peter Pan’s stance! That and the expression on his face (and in his eyes, which my photos didn’t do justice to) really evoke Pan somehow!


  3. I read your poem and a boy from high school immediately came to mind. I love that the poem provokes such strong memories for me. My favorite lines ring so true about high school and life: “It isn’t easy here, but harder/when you’re counterfeit.”

    Lovely poem.


  4. This reads like lyrics to a fabulous singer-songwriter song, Liz. Do you sing? I remember hearing Jane Siberry at a small venue and she told stories and sang songs, and this echoed back somehow to one of those. Love how you went from a personal story (in poem, not real life) to a bigger truth.


  5. Jenn Hubbard

    I love where you took this.


  6. ZING! Love that last stanza! I’ll send this poem out to almost all of the teenage boys in my past, too!


  7. Love this poetry. Feels so different of what I read. Poetry is so free and limitless, great. Owl sees Owl.


  8. *sigh*
    This still trumps — ahahaha, see what I did there??? — all of the other poems this week. This is how gential-grabbing boy-children end up fifty-nine year old embarrassments to mother and country — they refuse to take off that mask.

    NOW more than ever – a needful thing, maturity…


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