February 2, 2023


Writer's Showcase

Morpheous Waiting

2 min read




Allen’s remarks about his poem:

“Inspired by an image I once saw on the Internet.

It truly did have an quite unexpected effect on me.

Sadly, I never bookmarked it.”



A room where sunlight shines all day;
high enough to catch the passing wings
who fall under his charming spell.
White walls frame the curtainless space
and beg for more than the one small patch
of fabric in an ornate frame. Ha!
He tells them that he is a designer!
A designer of white wedding dresses …
and so they flutter into this space.

There is a dress. It hangs perpetual –
sheathed in a clear plastic bag –
from the empty picture rail, beside the bed.
There is a camera on a stand
and it captures images of his lies
and of the poor butterflies it sees
trapped by the sparkling promises
that slip so easily from his plump
and somewhat ugly lips.

A guitar is propped against a wall,
its strings silent and untuned…
and a mirror propped on the chair.
The mirror reflects the room’s time:
it is uncounted as in a dream.
While bit by bit he pulls their wings apart …
slipping a hooped petticoat up
over white nylon clad legs,
and encrusted high heels.

Stage by stage they are bitten
by the mendacious teeth …
“you can be my beautiful model …
let me take a shot of this…” – Click!
Hands that clumsily touch virgin skin;
eyes fascinated by sparkling wings
and pure unadulterated youthful flesh;
hands that tremble uncontrolled
trying to disguise their treason.

Sometimes they die quietly –
giving up their bodies on the bed
and leaving later, virgin dead,
dirtied by the dust of moths.
Or else, with wings wide open,
they perchance to see the lies
(before the dark mantis flies)
and manage to escape with innocence
unsullied … virgo intactus.

But this one –
younger than the rest –
mortified by her new greyness,
ran from the bed
and launched herself
through the open window ….
She spread her wings
and fluttered,
into the arms of Morpheus waiting.



© Allen Ansell 2021



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9 thoughts on “Morpheous Waiting

  1. When this was published on UKAuthors, ‘freya’ remarked: “I really like the play and extended metaphor here; from butterflies to young girls, back to butterflies, and even the play – in my mind anyway – between Morpheus and photographer: they both deliver the same fatal blow, don’t they? Some complex work to describe a profoundly disturbing situation.”

  2. I missed this one on UKA Allen. And my goodness it is a masterclass! It evoked for me the corruption of innocence, symbolised by the white wedding dress. And the ending was so apt for the theme of the poem.

    1. Thank you for your kind comment, Dougie. I just wish – as I do every time I read it – that I still had the actual photograph/painting that inspired this. I have searched and searched. Maybe, one day, it will come to light. I can still see it in my mind’s eye of course.

    2. This poem symbolizes the high level of moral decadence in the society.
      A time where men are filled with lies and deceit just to corrupt the poor butterflies that get trapped by their hollow promises.
      I loved how you used the term “Virgo intactus” to classify innocence.
      This is a creative and symbolic piece.

  3. Well done Allen! This piece reflects the rather corrupt aspect of society where people with dreams are lured by men pretending to be big. Their innocence tarnished and wings broken by lies and manipulations of so-called helpers. It’s so unfortunate that this same thing still happens in present times and I wish young girls and guys would not fall for the lies. But, they still fall just like people in the past fell.

  4. This was just simply fabulous. Such a tremendous poem Allen, describing the evil in showbiz, playing with career of young guys and girls and taking advantage of their innocence. And the way you have described it is awesome. Another proof of your greatness as a writer allen, many people try to write on these issues but they are not able to deliver it like you have done it. And I agree with dougie it is a masterclass.

  5. Oh, this one brought to mind images of an encounter in my “struggling actress” days. Truly, there are bad people everywhere, who lure and take advantage of vulnerability. It continues to be a pervasive epidemic, with no end in sight. Captured meticulously and accurately in the elegance of this piece, the savage act is made almost poetic.

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