In Dorian’s Grey (copyrighted 2014)

In Dorian’s Grey


Reflected in the cold windowpane

Is the face of you, oh, my beloved and troubled one

In window frame of certain truth

There I see familiar shades

Reminiscent of my shelved painter’s tubes:

They’re dusty from disuse –

Dorian’s grey, tearstain blue, and

The starless night’s universal hue.


For many years, there has been

A wretched weeping and heart wrenching

Wailing ailing your heart

That I have given ear to.

I have made efforts in peeling pretense

From the defense you remain ever near to

For the sake of finding the real you apart

From your masks donned for

Feigning and masquerading.


But against cold windowpane,

Your weighty thoughts culminate and climax

To collapse your pretended composure

While monsters deep break open their enclosures.


You can struggle no longer to temper your

Spirit’s dejected whimper

So as to fight shy of losing face.

Now, you fail to disguise those seeping eyes

Leaving familiar shades in traces

Of Dorian’s grey, tearstain blue, and

The starless night’s universal hue.


Faintly whispering prayer, you cry shamelessly before me.

Such a moment of bare emotion spellbindingly calls for

The clutch of brush for excitingly capturing

This scene upon touch of canvas – unspeakable beauty!


I will not think ill of thee for sobbing rather paint you truthfully.

Those sunken eyes mourning unspoken cries of sadness

Move me to my old palette of dried pigment patches.


Oblivious to my spying, you spare not

Bitter tears in crying.

May you model for me, oh beloved

And troubled one so that I may dip parched

Hairs of paintbrush frayed into Dorian’s grey,

Taken from painter’s tubes, once more?

Do not feel compelled to pose and even feel free to doze

For here with you I make my studio.


I shall not project false light and repose

Where there may be only darkness.

Trust that beauty is the trade of the artist

And, love, his greatest muse.


I shall abuse or fail to adhere to the integrity

Of not one detail entailed among your features

For they are my brush’s teachers especially.


First, I must sketch your form and mass of figure

Reclined across windowsill, rain splattered,

Before I engage Dorian’s gray or tearstain blue

In filaments of threadbare jeans

Worn and tattered,

Before I wield light to cast its shadow

And picture your spirit broken and battered.


As I am peering into the depths of you beloved one

I see scars from claws of monsters deep –

They are the wrinkles of your face.

Tears have burrowed where you have wept

Staining an overcast blue, for nights on end,

Times you wish you could have slept.


Inrush and outrush of hushed air

Are breaths shallow from your woeful heart sallow

Repeating in windowpane from out your mouth limply agape;

Yes, the portrait is taking shape –

Fibers string your temples in Dorian’s grey,

And misery’s vandals have gratuitously defaced you in tearstain blue,

Yes, grave scars cached in your whitewashed bones

Have diseased you, involuntarily contentment-immune –

And you withdrew into the starless night’s universal hue.


Stroking the underlining in passionate strides

Where sketches were made at a time opportune,

The brushstrokes bade and paid respect

To your woeful life.


Now it is clear to me,

How you have lived as your heart’s absentee,

Why you have lived behind agony’s impasse,

Who has lived as a captive loath to grant

Your dreams the stars’ reach free, at last…


The culminating smear of melancholy hue

Perfected the rendering of you

Surrendering your secrets true

Come, come my beloved and troubled one

May I lift your spirits!


When you came to see, you spit vile curses at me

“What have you done?” you said

But I merely wished to paint you truthfully

To show the beauty you cannot see

In Dorian’s gray, tearstain blue, and

The starless night’s universal hue.


“I never desire to see such ugliness ever again!”

You screamed at me as I watched you flee,

A mystery to me – why so fearfully, why so angrily?


“What have I done? Have I made things worse

In troubling my beloved one?”

And so the portrait I cursed and banished

To concealment while I struggled to hold back tears

From falling into pigment patches of sadness

The Dorian’s grey, the tearstain blue, and

The starless night’s universal hue.


You lingered for hours away but may I say

No amount of running your best,

No matter your thwarting the need to rest,

Will out-do the truth with which you must contest.

Repression to depression to oppression

But why not to open confession?

I am here for you my beloved one

In the sincerest of ways.

I understand why you pray

And still, I will love you for all of your days…

The troubled one in Dorian’s grey.

Published by

Asha Gowan

I am an aspiring poet, novelist, musician, visual artist, and a die hard jazz enthusiast (partial to writing). I did not have a choice in the matter as both of my parents are creative to the core. Van Gogh beautifully painted the artist's portrait with his words: "The more I think about it, the more I realize there is nothing more artistic than to love others." I've made that ideal the primary catalyst for my work. Born as one of nature's esthetes, beauty is the goal of every song, every poem, every piece of art. Beauty that will touch the hearts and minds of others. I try to design my art to be healing and empathetic. I study and find intriguing people of all kinds, which informs a lot of my insights. I've drawn inspiration on the art of positivity, of spiritual uplifting from writers like Throeau, John Muir, Ohiyesa (Charles Eastman), the psalmist David, etc. Seeking a unique verve in my style, I make thorough investigations of all sorts of art and challenge myself to the hilt for the growth of my ingenuity. I am eager to share my musings with everyone here and wish to disseminate them. Thank you!