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 eruditea 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 ringshis poet's place is pro
Good conversation, smartphones interfere ...
Old phones, though here, are silentshe 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)
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
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 witchwho 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 rentbut 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)