prose poetry prose poetry

submission info

"Bullfight-Canvas"- from The Ruby of the Universe
- Dan Lukiv

this poem is from The Ruby of the Universe. The title is taken from a line in the final poem, and all of them explore themes related to war. click here to read the others.


The wild bull,
Facing "Goya" in his
"Taje de luces"
("Suit of lights"),
Does not know that pharaohs
Hunted him on foot,
Nor that princes and princesses
                                      of Crete
Somersaulted over him
As he charged.

Four years pampered,
He's never before seen
The "grey" muleta that

But he has made up his mind.
He paws the ground,
Breathes heavily, as the
Prepares to
Attack himself.

The picador,
Like a blood-lusting
Moor on horseback,
Drives the steel-tipped lance
Into neck flesh.

The head lowers.
Twice again the picador
Drives down the bull's head,

And then he exits;
Banderillas enter:
They shout, wave arms,
Swerve at the last moment
To lodge steel barbs
Into bleeding shoulders.

The "moment of truth":
Matador against bull.

Aficionados cry out for
Thrust and charge,
Blood and blade.

The matador--
Puppeteer and artist--
Reaches over the horns,
Plunges the sword between
Iberian shoulders,
Searching, searching for the aorta,
Until the coup de grace
Gives the bloody audience
Everything the bloody matador
Could ask for.

Dan Lukiv is a writer, educator, and frequent contributor to canadian content.
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