Ekphrasis: a Cadralor
Miró’s The Birth of the World stymies me.
In his genesis, is that a kite or a bird?
Balloons or faceless heads?
A spider stalking a question mark?
Squiggly lines or horizons, mountains, waves?
Real or surreal? What’s the difference?
Backgrounded by The Shepherd Star,
Breton’s peasant girl steadies a potato sack
on her head. Practiced weariness guides her home.
I want to know who will meet her at the door?
Who will wash her dusty feet? Who will brew
her tea, butter her chunk of bread?
In Jesus’s painting, the table is round.
Magdalene sits on His right amused by the Matthew/
Mark/Luke fight over narratives and the Peter/
Andrew/James row about the largest fish. John passes
bread around. The title? Judas asks. Jesus gleefully replies,
The Boss’s Dinner. Everyone nods. No surprise.
Oil on canvas, 1925: O’Keeffe’s New York Street with Moon.
Ground-level view. Skyscrapers in solid browns, precisely edged
and windowless. No movement in or around. Cloud-banked moon,
haloed streetlamp, red traffic light: a cityscape conceived,
the artist insists, as felt not is. What is the feel of miles
of time away from mountains and desert blooms?
Colour-pencil on creamy white: Self- Portrait of a Poet
Aging as She Writes. On her lap a child laughs.
Beside her desk, a teen practices confidence.
Slips of questions slide across the sun-drenched floor.
Outside, maple buds whisper the calendar’s turn.
They’ve arrived to revitalize her slowing down.
This poem was first published in POETiCA REViEW.
Blissfully retired in Clackamas, Oregon, Carolyn Martin is a lover of gardening and snorkeling, feral cats and backyard birds, writing and photography. Since the only poem she wrote in high school was red penciled “extremely maudlin,” she is amazed she has continued to write. Her poems have appeared in more than 175 journals throughout North America, Australia, and the UK. See more at www.carolynmartinpoet.com.
The Ekphrastic Review
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