After Paul Klee
1. The Blue Head
How fortunate you are, to call
the sky your mother,
though you must inhale
more than its blue comfort.
There’s no denying
tornado green and blizzard white.
Your button eyes
smuggle in midnight
while your tiny lips press together,
deprived of words
for the fickle weather,
the hours dealt like playing cards.
2. Outbreak of Fear III
We have done the work of the enemy
by imagining ourselves dismembered:
The severed head crying for the severed leg,
the arms sawed up for the fireplace.
Our actual fate may not be as horrendous,
but we have already fled our flesh
in anticipation. The blood is drained out,
rendering skin the colour of ash.
3. Revolution of the Viaduct
The arches were ordered to line up
and stand still for inspection.
But look, they have broken ranks,
and the secret blood of stones
has risen to the surface--
yellow, orange, pink.
The arches are walking our way,
one stiff leg in front of the other.
If we are liberators,
they will carry us on their shoulders.
If we are slave masters,
watch out for their feet.
4. Colourful Lightning
An artist is drawing tonight
with golden chalk.
It’s nothing that makes sense,
nothing that would answer prayer,
just jagged brilliant lines.
He loves these lines,
but loves even more the act
of the wandering, downward stroke.
No sooner is he finished
than he wipes the blackboard clean
so his free hand
can crack the darkness again.
Robert Lowes is a journalist and poet in St. Louis whose first collection of poetry, titled An Honest Hunger, was published earlier this year by Wipf and Stock Publishers under its Resource Publications imprint. His poems have appeared in journals such as The New Republic, December, the Chariton Review, Sentence: A Journal of Prose Poetics, Tampa Review, and the Christian Century. For the past seven years, he has coordinated the high school poetry contest of the St. Louis Poetry Center, recruiting judges like Naomi Shihab Nye and Jericho Brown, screening entries, and shaking the hands of winners at award ceremonies. For more information, visit robertlowes.com.
The Ekphrastic Review
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