Show Me the Monet
Serenely and divinely Japanese!
How else could one describe Claude's garden scene
Of water lilies under willow trees
Where nature has been made to look pristine?
Maybe instead describe it as a fraud:
East meeting west where you and I are conned
To think the garden's how 'twas seen by Claude! ...
Have you not wondered if his painted pond
Erased a truth? I mean discarded junk,
Moved out of sight by short and deft brush strokes,
Oils gracing canvas, till you would have thunk
No one could guess Claude played the best of jokes
Except if they had seen a shopping cart
Tipped over in the pond in Banksy's art!
(Inspired by this article; first published in the Winter 2020
issue of Rat's Ass Review and reprinted in the Ekphrastic
Review on January 12, 2021)
Spinning A Dream
Sweet dreams, my little child! But when you wake,
Please do not think the bottom of the stair
Is where we are ordained to stay. We'll make
New lives for us across the ocean where
New York now beckons. What will Mama do?
I may not get flax-spinning work full-time.
No matter! I'll take any job, so you
Get educated, and we both may climb ...
A steamship sails next week, and once we're there,
Dreams will not be just dreams for you and me.
Remember how your uncles climbed the stair:
Embarking for the New World was the key ...
America awaits. But till we steam,
May you sleep sweetly, while I spin our dream!
(Inspired by Maria Marinetti's Spinning Flax and first
published in the Ekphrastic Review on January 29,
2021 as a Challenge Response)
Our Day Will Come
Our day will come, if only years from now:
United, we are destined to prevail
Released from toil behind the mule-drawn plough,
Discharged from bondage to the cotton bale.
A day will come when we are truly free.
Yet till that long-awaited day arrives,
We labor in de facto slavery
Imagining our liberated lives ...
Long years of subjugation nullified
Lincolnian pronouncements made in vain:
Crow's Law saw all our freedom brushed aside,
Our loss in dignity made landlord's gain ...
May we yet see oppression swept away?
Emancipation will arrive that day!
(Inspired by Earle Richardson's Employment of
African-Americans in Agriculture and first published
in the Ekphrastic Review on March 12, 2021 as a
The Dorsey stamp shows Tommy on trombone,
Rejoicing to his sentimental sound
Of swing, with Jimmy on the saxophone
Musicians whose great hits were world renowned!
Big bands had never seen such skilled trombone:
Ol' Blue Eyes said he learned to breathe his way,
Not from a vocal coach, but from his own
Experience of watching Tommy play! ...
Perhaps, since Tommy's timeless, he belongs
Less on a thirty-two cent stamp than where
A stamp commemorates his classic songs,
Yet also says they'll always fill the air ...
Eternal tunes deserve this mail revamp:
Releasing Tommy's own Forever stamp!
(Inspired by a 1996 US commemorative stamp and first
published in the Creativity Webzine on March 31, 2021)
The Arrow Of Time
The arrow maker's expert at his craft.
His jasper points are honed with perfect skill,
Each fastened with precision to its shaft
And when they fly, their flights bend to his will ...
Reflecting on his daughter's changing role,
Resignedly he grasps she too must fly:
Of time, the arrow's not his to control,
When any day a stranger might walk by ...
Once Hiawatha comes, this father knows
Fond days with Minnehaha soon will end
Time's arrow is the one that never slows:
Its flight to Minnehaha's will must bend
Most surely, bringing sadness to the day
Events propel this daughter far away.
(Inspired by Edmonia Lewis's The Old Arrow Maker
and first published in the Ekphrastic Review on April
23, 2021 as a Challenge Response)