“Pompeii” Series Artist Statement

Tempus Fugit. Carpe Diem.
In Pompeii, one receives the gift of second sight.

A life appears, abundant, irreverent,
Masters and slaves, their wine, their dogs,
sandals slapping the finely paves streets,
every artist in Rome, it seems
has been hired to come down and fresco
or fit minute fragments
into this still life, which I Claudius
or Brutus, or Julia, command: a roast duck mosaicked for the ages
for my dining hall,
my triclinium.

But tempus not only fugit. It stretches
or shrinks. Our vision
narrows. Must it?
Diane, Becky and I travelled
to see Pompeii as it stands now: ruined.

And also
with our second, deeper sight, we saw
Pompeii as it lived, masters, slaves, their dogs.
And I wished to present to you their jewels
as they could have been. But then

With yet another set of eyes
I wish for you
to see how time has stretched the beauty
how the ruins have evolved a tongue
lizarded walls sing, and yes if you listen
a faint flute and cymbals will be heard
and yes I must now prepare
yet another set of jewels
for you who hear the sound.

-Eve Alfillé

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