Thursday, May 13, 2021

Large Enclosure Near Dresden (Caspar David Friedrich), Sonnet #563


 









Today, the clouds, like a drawn bow,

Turn the curve of the horizon

Upside down and high becomes low

Until the setting of the sun.

Just-ending rains flooded the fields

And small rudderless sailcraft spin,

Empty of their laden yields.

Can sweet water cause such ruin?

We walk the high ground hand in hand,

Stranded on the bridge-less bank.

How will we return to our land

Before all has turned rot and rank?

A lone boatman polls upriver —

He’s seen death, this old life-giver?


My book of the first 200 of these sonnets is now available for purchase. Click here:

Thursday, May 6, 2021

The Nymph of the Spring (Lucas Cranach the Elder), Sonnet #562


 








There still sleep secret sacred springs

Fed by streams from porous rock,

By dreams of dozing huntress nymphs.

Their arrows aren’t aimed at wings,

But men who would touch key to lock

Of their delicately draped limbs.

While a short walk from the old town

The spring is seldom discovered

By hunter or would-be lover,

Or princess in her silken gown.

Unnatural havoc attends

Disturbing of the nymph at rest.

The springs boil and mists ascend

To poison the unwanted guest.


My book of the first 200 of these sonnets is now available for purchase. Click here:

Thursday, April 29, 2021

The Gate Contained (Michael Antman), Sonnet #561


 












The visitor etched the word “act.”

I don’t know why inside a heart.

Call it a moment of found art,

All gesture and little impact.

We’re staring out of a lost room

Through a cracked and discolored frame.

Bayside, metals and water boom.

The bright red bridge, in glorious bloom,

Guardian of what went and came,

Is like all things only a name.

With wrought iron and steel cable,

Men can create. They’re capable

Of containing the setting sun

But must let go when day is done.


My book of the first 200 of these sonnets is now available for purchase. Click here:

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Veil Nebula (NASA), Sonnet #560










Think through the photograph to the reality

In Cygnus, twenty-one thousand light years away,

And understand to understand, that is to say,

What is a form of ionized ideality.

My fingers are only an arm’s length from my face,

The inexorable fate of the human race.

My eyes can see (only) if my lenses are clear

The remnants of nebulae no bigger than stars,

Erasing the difference between far and near,

Though the idea, the ideal of it, smudges and mars

The time and the rapidity and the distance

Of thought itself, transforming it into mere sense.

The universe reaches, absurdly out of scale,

A clustered everything blinking behind a veil.


My book of the first 200 of these sonnets is now available for purchase. Click here:

 

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Painting the Eiffel Tower, 1924, Sonnet #559


 












A man hangs by his elbow, not trusting

His hands alone to keep him from falling.

He’d call the Eiffel Tower his calling —

Brushing to prevent it from rusting —

Sixty tons of paint every seven years.

I’ve been to the top in spite of my fears.

My vertigo let me look out, not down.

Just this photograph unstrings me.

I can’t imagine standing on the crown

Without losing my ability to be.

Yet, men dangled from such heights to build

It — 

        iron and rivet. 

                                One man was killed.



My book of the first 200 of these sonnets is now available for purchase. Click here:

Thursday, April 8, 2021

The Bookworm (Georg Schafer), Sonnet #558


 












He bought his first book at the age of five,

The story of medieval warfare.

Another world came vividly alive.

A kin of dragons emerged from its lair,

An ancient and omnivorous wyrm

Penetrated the boy through his pupils

And thusly he began to read and learn

Of all the world’s glories and its ills.

Seventy years later his library

Lines every wall in his home’s every room.

There are books of inexorable doom,

A room devoted to lore of faery,

Even a shelf of books penned with a quill.

He hasn’t read them all and never will.


My book of the first 200 of these sonnets is now available for purchase. Click here:

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Girl Reading a Book (Charles-François-Prosper Guérin), Sonnet #557













What does it mean to read a book?

There’s no right answer anymore.

My daughters know it’s not to look

For something that’s never been there,

Like “truths” in ugly ancient lore. 

I once at bed time read “Scarface,”

The story of a grizzly bear —

At times it made little hearts race.

They still recall that book with love,

How the bear was far from human,

Though constant fear and hunger drove

It on from mountain to mountain.

They read books seeking for beauty,

Not from a false sense of duty.


My book of the first 200 of these sonnets is now available for purchase. Click here: