Thursday, February 25, 2021

Winter (Peter Breughel the Younger), Sonnet #552


 








The snow in the back yard rusts like a plucked white rose,

Rutted with the tracks of rabbits and raccoons,

Leaf-pocked and stained with coal ash the wind blows

From factories on the river — a field of runes.


Couples skate, boys race, a man falls through the ice,

Though no one seems to see. Two drunkards play with dice.

The drowned body won’t be found until the spring thaw,

With no consideration of conscience or law.


The air is bitter, unignited by the sun.

The wind stings the cheeks, blinds the eyes, numbs the ears.

It hasn’t been this damned cold in a year of years.

Yet the day is a festival for everyone.


For now, winter distracts women, children and men.

The next snow storm will wipe the world clean again.


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

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Stacks of Wheat, End of Day, Autumn (Claude Monet), Sonnet #551


 








Most of my dreams are black and white,

A sickly world lit by moonlight.

Golden wheat under setting sun

Igniting quickly fades to dun,

To dim, to shadow, then to black.

A full moon won’t bring colors back.

Night is no dream, but serious.

Even if it hinders vision,

We can’t become delirious —

We’ve no excuse for misprision.

Fear is something other, the end

(Not of meaning or misreading,

The touch of warm flesh, or needing)

Of sight only the sun can mend.


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

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Sea of Ice (Caspar David Friedrich), Sonnet #550


 









A god we don’t know wields

A hammer on ice fields.

One blow is all it takes

(Or flutter of snowflakes).

Then like careening ships

Each floe striking floe flips

Skyward in great stiff sails.

The meaning of ice fails

The seal and polar bear,

Who run beyond nowhere.

Men are not to be found,

Their craft long since ice bound.

They swim below like whales

They’d come to weigh on scales.


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

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Escape into Life (Yves Tanguy), Sonnet #549


 












A baby sits on a giant cherry

While the depleted sun falls through a cloud.

We escape into life not knowing how

We got on and off the forgone ferry.

We’re next to nothing, an ignorant crowd,

Unmovable when we don’t start a row.

The unrecognizable in our minds,

A blurred landscape that writhes, twisting, and winds

Around ideas, resolves from nameless shapes

Into the wonderland of snakes and apes.

All’s not dust said old iron to its rust.

Shrill winds erase the nothing gust by gust.

But the baby will grow and see beyond

Terrors, his mind become a magic wand.


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

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Rain (Van Gogh), Sonnet #548


 










Not even he could paint the rain.

(Imagine trying to touch each drop

With the fingered tip of a brush!)

Perhaps trying drove him insane.

He was the master of the crop

Of wheat, of twisted tree and bush.

He caught killers dying in bars

And erased the night sky with stars.

He effaced himself with his eyes,

Made more of sunrise than sunrise.

Rain he could only imitate —

Slashing the canvas with his sword

Again and again — intimate

What is clouded inside the word.


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

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow (Piet Mondrian), Sonnet #548


 












Red speaks first, as always: “I am

Of, with, by, from, and in the sun.

I nurture the ewe and the ram.

I think therefore I am the one.”

“Be still!” scolds Yellow. “Silly fool!

My thought is the ultimate tool.

Who else can turn the wheat to gold

Or teach the telling to the told?”

Blue intervenes: “I am the sky,

The bluebird, the sea. My thoughts fly

Beyond the seeing of the eye.

None can unblue me with their ‘why?’”

Black and White, all colors and none,

Part them, one from one from one.


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

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Ice Storm, Sonnet #547


 









The insistence of freezing rain

Can darken an entire town,

Bringing a million branches down,

Taxing the chainsaw and the crane . . .

Or it can glaze limb and berry

So lightly it melts as it grows

And only the frailest twig bows . . .

This, the weight we all carry.

This ice vanishes in an hour,

Once the sun ceases to hide,

But before the bushes have dried

Great murmurs of starlings devour

Without desperation or greed

Every trace of flesh and seed.



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