Orpheus exits

granted on appeal
bearing writs
love and zeal
entered deep
for their reward
awaiting she
as he tread for’d
o’er that threshold
mortal life beyond
dead and exiled
to leave behind
imagined he
would love find
Sadness sleep
would overcome
Doubts from the deep
would overwhelm
Had tender justice
been his mission
yet to succumb
to punished beauty’s
vain attrition.


Dr T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket between the cradles of Heine and Saramago. He is also the author of Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa. Read other articles by T.P..