Unpacked sonnets

On viewing a painting

November 6, 2020

The painting included a nude subject, a woman of immense beauty, seated at a table having coffee.

The steam slowly rises from her cup (I love how the painter captured that!).

Her left hand holds a fountain pen – she writes a letter – perhaps to a distant lover, maybe to her child away at college.

She stares out into space – a pregnant thought commands her attention. Her thoughts leave the canvas and mingle with my own as I am drawn into her world. She must work out, such tone in her muscular limbs.

I back away – distance and perspective change what I see.

***

A response to The Pieces I Am – an unpacked sonnet

June 26, 2020

I don’t have a “great migration” story. My folks stayed where they were, where they’d been born.

No one way train rides punctuated life for us: my parents cast their buckets down and made their peace, I guess, with all the lines that circumscribed their lives.

And their parents, and their parents, and their parents, and on and on.

Oh yeah, they ventured forth from time to time, but always came back to the home they knew and loved.

We grew up with the ghosts of generations past. They spoke to us and taught us things not learnable from books, like how to deal with loss, and love’s delay, and death, the ever present end of all.

***

Confined to quarters – an unpacked sonnet and a farewell to Wilson’s ten-play cycle

May 12, 2020

What must we conclude when the cycle ends? Is there cause for hope, for optimism?

A balm we can surely find in Gilead? Or isn’t all just a wink and a nod, yet another slave narrative that shows the futility of our pleas for peace?

As a teen I thought Robert Redford might someday be President. I mean, Bobby Seale didn’t really stand a chance and Redford was at least a man of action.

But there was no great art in his films, well, except in that spy flick he did with Faye Dunaway – who had been my secret crush forever – where, under duress, she said, “This is . . . unfair!”

***

A Thursday unpacked sonnet

April 23, 2020

It might be time for a shape shift moment. This kernel of time, wedged between the walls of two more standardized realities only points us backwards on the path of forward growth.

You can write your own poem – this one holds out hope for a revival and a different direction for our dreams.

Old ways benefited the chosen few. Their poets and prophets sing of better days to come. They have playwrights and Netflix producers on the job around the clock, promising to protect the status quo.

I can’t say I wish them ill. Their vision is a museum object, best preserved, mute.