Ekphrastic Acrostic Sonnets

 An Art Collector

 Art fashioned by the ones who truly could
 Now decks the hall of one who couldn't. Yet
 A man who shares such art for greater good
 Repays, with exhibitions, all his debt.
 The artist, who's an employee, has made
 Cornelis look très erudite—a man
 Of culture with his provenance displayed,
 Legitimizing him ... Do those who can
 Look down on those who can't, as Shaw implied?
 Expounding on a Massys in a scene
 Cornelis paid for won't have satisfied
 The cynic Shaw. But Aristotle's been
 On record longer: teach means understand—
 Redeeming van der Geest as Willem planned.

 (First published in the Ekphrastic Review on July 30,
  2021 as a response to The Gallery of Cornelis van
  der Geest by Willem van Haecht)
 Me And My Parrots

 My parrots bring me peace to nestle in.
 Enduring loss is easiest when I
 Am comforted by feathers on my skin:
 No human touch can so well pacify!
 Determination permeates the calm
 My birds induce: each day I must restart.
 Youth brought me chronic pain, for which the balm
 Proves daily to be nature, and my art ...
 A cigarette as tonic is too brief.
 Refraining for a moment is too long.
 Relighting brings no permanent relief
 Or respite from the battle to be strong—
 Though when my parrots stimulate my brain,
 Strength radiates to overcome my pain!

 (Prompted by Frida Kahlo's painting and first published
  in the Creativity Webzine on July 31, 2021)
 Waiting On A Muse

 Without the hum of voices sharing news,
 A café is an uninspiring place,
 If where its owner planned to meet his muse.
 This poet wears a disappointed face—
 It's past the time she said she would be here ...
 No smartphone rings—his poet's place is pro
 Good conversation, smartphones interfere ...
 Old phones, though here, are silent—she won't show.
 Nor will the old-time patrons who once came.
 A café host who nurtured tête-à-tête
 May reminisce, but times are not the same,
 Upturned by Covid and the internet ...
 So he'll close down, and write of days long gone—
 Ennui may be the muse he waited on!

 (First published in the Ekphrastic Review on August 13,
  2021 as a response to The Poet by Lily Prigioniero)
 After Breakfast

 A whole day lies ahead. So I will take
 Five minutes sitting by myself, and let
 The dirty dishes signal I'm on break,
 Engrossed in my own thoughts. A cigarette
 Relaxes me, it makes me feel unsnared,
 But only for a while. The life I know
 Rewards conformity. I wish I dared
 Escape from ties to here, just pack and go,
 And travel to pursue the freedom I
 Keep longing for. Yet duty to my kin
 Forbids me still. In truth, as time goes by,
 A love of homespun comfort settles in ...
 Soon chores resume. But till they call on me,
 These moments let me dream that I am free!

 (Prompted by Elin Danielson-Gambogi's painting
  and first published in the Creativity Webzine
  on November 30, 2021)
 Rooftops in Snow

 Ranged high above the snowfall on the ground,
 Oblivious to stirrings far below,
 Observed from higher still by a renowned
 French artist named Caillebotte, and capped with snow,
 The Paris rooftops conjured up an air
 Of urban stillness. Birds would have to hear
 Pins dropping if they listened from up there,
 So tranquil was the morning atmosphere ...
 Impressions painted long ago are what
 Now capture, for posterity, the peace
 Snow-covered roofs presented to Caillebotte
 Near old Montmartre ... Silence did not cease
 On those old roofs: it still is felt today—
 When gazing at his oil in the Musée.

 (First published in the Ekphrastic Review on December 31,
  2021 as a response to Snow Covered Roofs in Paris by
  Gustave Caillebotte
 Witches Dancing

 When once a castle stayed unused too long
 In Scotland, homeless witches found a squat.
 These witches, who think paying rent is wrong,
 Can deal with any interfering Scot
 Harassing them for squatting there at night,
 Enchanting all the dear departed souls
 Still lurking in the castle for a fright ...
 Displaying mesmerizing rigmaroles,
 A charismatic dancing witch—who leads
 Nocturnal rounds of hornpipes, jigs and reels—
 Casts spells on any meddler with her deeds.
 If you're the rent collector, your appeals
 Not only get no rent—but also you
 Go home and pay the landlord what is due!

 (Prompted by The Witches Dance and first published
  in the Spring-Summer 2022 issue of Rat's Ass Review)

Earlier Ekphrastic Acrostic Sonnets

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