I’ve Heard the Echoes


I’ve heard the echoes,
chased the shadows,
danced with the reveries
of phantom caresses.

Retreat with me
to a safe space
‘neath the snow-laden burrows
behind the curtain of remembrances

where we will carve out
the annals
of innocence and mirth,
and ascend the smoky hills by night’s end.

Art: “The Road in front of Saint-Siméon Farm in Winter”
Claude Monet


The Spirit makes its rounds…


The Spirit makes its rounds,
It warbles and gyrates.
It graces my hand.
It bends, glides, swishes,

But it doesn’t see me, yet.
For I am not ready.
It will come back soon.
And then it will engulf me,

Perhaps while I am asleep.

Art: “La Branche de Prunier, fond ocre”
Henri Matisse



Things take shape
Then disappear.
When the eye blinks,
The reverie is dead
And new light becomes
The angel in you.
For a time,
Then you are whisked away
By gratuitous moments
Undefined and barely in view.
When I think of crying,
Something awakens
And you are there,
Listening, breathing,
A simple melody
Exhorting me to rest
Before you arrive again
And I extend my hands
To greet you

Art: “The Three Candles”
Marc Chagall

Where We Are Going…


Where we are going,
Enigmas await
With hands extended
Bearing ripe stones,
Expressionless cabochon
Droplets of stilted rain,
Or a petty curse from
The fountains below.
Beyond this threshold
You are masked,
Surrounded by ever-advancing
Entrails of an abandoned Spring.
Without movement
You’ve become an efflorescent statue
Mocking time and
Pilfering its colors
Until the last one is drawn
Patiently and elegantly devoured,
Just in time for the advent
Of the weakened penumbra
You freed years ago one morning
Blanketless now in the cool of dusk,
Naked, with trembling feet
Smiling tentatively.

Art: “Garden Path at Giverny”
Claude Monet

Innocence has returned briefly…


Innocence has returned briefly
To gather his loose ends
And then off to the next

Perhaps whereupon his subsequent return
He may find that the borders
Have been compressed and smoothed out,
But still glistening under scarcely-palpable
Zephyrs and perpetually unraveling
Seams of disconnected light.

That will be the day when
The rivers drown themselves in forgetfulness
While the poppy fields look on
In amusement, shame,
Or a mixture of both.

Art: “Edge of a Wheatfield with Poppies”
Vincent van Gogh

Light: An Elegy

Light: An Elegy

A light shimmers in the fore,
Joined by the hand
Of song and rhythm
And lambent dances
Along a moonlit creek in repose.

What does it see
Beyond this specter
Of jaded spirits
And world-weary migrations
To parts hitherto untold
That beckons its uncompromising smile?

From whence does its melody arise
That it traverses so calmly
Through dimensions and landscapes
Hitherto unseen?

When will a world
Left in silent agony
Learn its dance
And free itself from
These windless vales
Of stagnant tears?

A light begins to fade in the offing,
Just beyond the directionless bend.
As she retracts her hand
To commence one more excursion

She speaks,

Gently reminding the creek
That upon her return,
A new song will be sung,
And a new rhythm mapped out
For posterity.

And the shiftless vale will blossom
With a chorus of sparrows
And flora bedecked with purple amaranths
Heralding a new day,
In which smiles are freely-given
And hearts are open
For the weary traveler
To stop and rest awhile,
Before the next journey.

Art: “Sunset at Lavacourt”
Claude Monet

“What is Eternity?”

“What is eternity?” she asked.
“Here, take a look, as far as the crow flies.”
“Straight ahead. That’s eternity.”
“How so?”
“Just keep looking, far and wide, but without searching.”
“How does that work?”
“Just stare into the offing, without guile or expectation, and eternity will settle right here, in the moment, encapsulated in the breadth of your very gaze.”
“And what happens when I find it?”
“It will find you.”

Art: “Near Sydenham Hill”
Camille Pissarro

Flash of the Crow

Flash of the Crow

These eyes have laid bare
A tendency to drift
Among currents of
Impalpable impressions of thought,
Wherein only the wither’d vestiges
Of youthful wings doth abound,
Now intermittently aflutter
To the last plainchant of the grave warden
Resolutely resigned to his own extinction:


A solitary wind meanders on,
Too noble for stagnation,
But too humble for forgiveness.
Every color is uprooted and scattered
Along this serpentine path,
Until usurped by velvety drops of blackened rain
That slowly fill a wooden ladle
Perched against a dessicant rock
That patiently abides a child’s return.

She once kept post at the entrance
To a vale of wonderment-
Where the cackle of children
Flourished day and night, freely conceived
Amid raucous cavalcades
Of homespun instruments,
Where artless impromptu anthems
Blared possibilities that became harmony
And harmony recalled
Colorful vingettes
Of its own possibility
During occasions of tenderness.

From time to time
The winds would heed
Her strident call to order.
And a cluster of buds
Would dance their Christening dance
As the flocks looked on
With amusement.
These were the times
Her silken essence
Glistened the most,
Reflecting restless, variegated hues
Perpetually seeking flight
Back into the womb of the Sun.

One day she left,
No sooner than she appeared.
The children are now asleep,
Hastened to rest
By an unbidden hiatus in verse.
All that is left to wonderment
Is absorbed in a sodden chimera
Of beady unblinked eyes
And a violent twitch
Of a deciduous patchwork coat
That glistens no more.

From this abandoned ladle
Harmony takes a drink
And begins to remember
A song from old,
But the words escape him.

Art: “Dire Straights”
Judith Gebhard Smith