Splattering the Canvas

Pallet, Brushes and Paint

Pallet, Brushes and Paint (Photo credit: KellBailey)

Journalism provides a way to tell others’ stories and link people to their communities. It’s a good feeling to know that I’m helping raise awareness about a cause or that my words will live online even after I’m gone. Sometimes, when I write a piece that features just one person, I imagine that he or she will save the hard copy and show it to his or her children and grandchildren years from now.

Nevertheless, the creative part of me loves having a blog to write more freely. Sometimes I just get the urge to scribble down a poem that pops into my head. Although I find it hard to begin and even harder to follow through with, I’d really like to complete one novella at some point in the near future.

There’s something about the arts–whether its writing, painting, movies, singing or theatre–that cuts through to the heart of a matter. Translating the arts into an analytical perspective doesn’t work nearly as well as just trying to intuitively grasp them.

Although writing so many literary essays where you pick apart a work until you’re pretty sure you’re making it up as you go can make anyone feel like a crackpot psychologist. I guess I do miss that linear and literal writing as much as its creative counterpart.

So, in a tip of the hat to the literary community–the literati as I like to call them–I’m including two poems I wrote a few months ago into this post.

*** A Capitol July ***

A city in ruins
Stone wall rubble crumples into
Dust beneath the only feet
Left to walk down the abandoned
Streets, which once were paved
And shone like gold.

A sparrow arcs gracefully through
The sky beside a destroyed
Silver tower, looping off
Toward treetops on the horizon.

Far below, weather-beaten sneakers
Continue forward, ears waiting

For any sign of life.

A billboard ahead shows a young woman
With a too-bright, artificial smile
Fingers wrapped around a toothpaste tube.

Weeds push up through cracks in
Cement, a wooden swing creaks
In the breeze of a forlorn playpark and
The heat haze settles on vacant, overgrown
Lots on the outskirts of what was once an

Jungle-bright vines and wilting
Yellow flowers surrender to the
Dying sun and rising crescent
Moon. Night fall looms, and at last,
Beyond battered baker’s windows and the
Barber shop’s spinning chairs appears
The fence, straight ahead.

She finds the footholds in the
Tangled links, climbing higher,
Hoists over it onto the soft dirt
Path that winds into forest, natural noise, and
The last patch of daylight.

***Being and Becoming ***

Fifteen billion years ago

The universe exploded

A firework of color and sound

Raced itself to the edge of perception

For its pleasure of just because

We cannot be certain.

Like a toddler with sea legs

It reached and stretched

And grew–who knew–

Who could guess to what proportions?

The Earth became a speck

Of blue and green

Gliding through blackness in

Deep space, in no-thing-ness

Where all things are.

Like an elegant ice skater who

Twirls and cuts the ice with

Metal’s blade but cannot see

Her audience until the song’s

Last note fades

When dreamer and

Imagining know each other

For the first time.

House lights go up and

Absence with Presence collides.

And you and me and all we see

Are here, are now

Our consciousness

Shared, multiplied, yet divided

By random strains

That plague our days

Of traffic and technology

Of what to eat and who to be,

Of gas prices and global war,

Thought-rich but in essence poor.

We try and fail and try again

To make it to that future

Moment where bliss


While folded laundry waits on steps

To be returned to closets

We jet off in steel rockets

Toward those other things

Between the no-things

Hoping to find buried treasure

In a wooden chest

On a red planet

Before the contractions start

And we are birthed again.


Posted on January 12, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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