Thursday, October 14, 2021

Cicada (Hua Yan), Sonnet #584










Why do birds and insects sing so

Effortlessly, without command,

As though they don’t care if they’re heard?

They tell us something we don’t know

And never try to understand.

I’d ignore the babbling catbird,

Perhaps, if I knew what he said.

The cardinal says “I am red.”

The cricket can’t seem to shut up

Lest I approach and interrupt.

The cicada’s incessant whir,

Like the blare of a small Klaxon,

Is intense and irregular,

An urgent call to inaction.



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Thursday, October 7, 2021

Broadway Boogie-Woogie (Piet Mondrian), Sonnet #583


 












The music in physical abstraction

Is in the eye that tries but can’t see straight,

A synesthesia, thought and action

Blurring all that is too far and too late.

Cross your eyes and a leaf disappears

Into a something, yes, but a nothing

Too, which will quietly begin to sing

Incomprehensibly to your pinched ears.

The New York City streets seen from a cloud,

All movement among sliding monuments,

Are like sheet music notes without accents,

Cacophonous, unrelievedly loud.

The autumn leaves run after taxi cabs

The old painter creates with little dabs.



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

Thursday, September 30, 2021

The Flowered Dress (Edouard Vuillard), Sonnet #582


 










He bought it for her birthday,

But then he went away.

She wore it day after day

And when asked why, she said,

“These flowers replace the dead.”

She wore it when he returned

From far away in a urn.

She wore it when she was burned.

Her two sisters in return

Wore black and gray dresses

And hacked at their tresses,

Waiting, unable to yearn,

No hope even in flowers,

Tombed in the soberest hours.



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

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Two of “Nine Dragons” (Chen Rong), Sonnet #581












The dragons follow us around,

Sneaking in and out of the mist, 

Shrieking nonsense, a silent sound,

Lonely and hungry to be kissed.

They are two of nine ancient worms

(A magic number in godly terms):

Each is older than the other;

Each is no dragons’ brother;

Each has a near toothless maw;

Each has lost all but one claw.

Out of this frightless paucity,

They have this one audacity:

Yolky eyes loll in scaly lids,

Laughing at our egos and ids.




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

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Waterbirds Nesting (Josephine Joy), Sonnet #580

 














The great egret nests in a colony,

In woods not far from a river or pond.

They build thin platforms of sticks, twigs and reeds,

With a distant view like a balcony.

Not many fowl embrace this kind of bond,

Though crows return each night to rookeries.

The egret stands in water still as stone

For hours waiting for a fish or frog

They eat wriggling with a rapier bill.

Patience is the most precious skill they own.

A black mink will leap from behind a log,

Attack, cracking its legs enough to kill.

It’s then like ripping apart a child’s kite —

Broken sticks, torn paper red-spattered white.


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

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Altarpiece No. 1 (Hilma af Klint), Sonnet #579

 














Here is a painting of our mind,

A congeries of colored shapes.

Balls of twisted twine unwind.

What rises into reach escapes.

A thought is not of any kind

To the overly sighted blind.

Atop the altar of the brain,

A holiness we can’t sustain

Explodes and falls like acid rain,

Leaving neither symbol nor stain.

The pyramid and the circle

Rise from a baseless miracle,

The infant’s incoherent cries

At what enters unprepared eyes.


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Thursday, September 2, 2021

Dandelion with a Death’s Head Moth (Margaretha Barbara Dietzsch), Sonnet #578














1

More beautiful dying alive,

(As it fades, generating seeds),

Than in its full yellow flower,

The dandelions in my yard thrive,

Though people denounce them as weeds.

White tuft atop a thin tower,

A brain tottering on a spine,

Its thoughts fly in windblown showers,

Infinitesimally fine,

Like disintegration of hours.


2

Some moths carry a second head

On their backs — fooling — they’re not dead.

Oh, how we love inspired dread,

When our own lives are extended.


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