Saturday, September 19, 2015

Irina Beatrix (photo by Michael Antman), Sonnet #261

Close your eyes and dream, dear Beatrix, dream.
The sundial at your wrist moves with the sun
And the stranger you meet each day, unseen
In the shadows, is yours, the only one:
He carries an ageless, cumbersome book,
In which he draws and draws your perfect face.
A face you've never recognized, he took
From you, idolizing the female race.
The scarlet dove drops a poppy into your lap --
You slip deeply into your alter consciousness.
A beautiful young woman closes her eyes too,
Centuries from now, and wakens you from your nap.
The death of your child is no longer meaningless.
Yes, you'll pass too -- into a woman who is you.

Note: The painting is Dante Gabriel Rossetti's Beata Beatrix.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Pileated Woodpecker (Alice Guerin), Sonnet #260

Complacencies of the dead tree,
Every inch of bark hiding ants.
In bare patches a filigree
Of rectangular holes. He rants
And drums, but always at a distance --
The hardest god damn bird to see.
I followed him once by a stream.
I could not get close until I
Stepped into the water, thigh high.
To him I ceased to seem to seem.
Above, he ripped a branch apart,
Hungry savagery, like art
From a chisel, mallet, and drill.
For hours, I watched him kill, eat, kill.