Out My Window For Posterity


1/10/15 2015. Acrylic on canvas, 20 X 16″

The sun goes down so low in the south this time of year. Remember, no more text for a month or two—just 2 or 3 hour studies to teach my hand to speak with paint. In the mean time I will do laundry, make a stew, pet a cat. No one is watching. Nobody waits for what I do. Last night I watched a football game in my house for the second time in 14 years. I still don’t know if I like to do this. After the game I got up off the couch and whizzed through several frantic chores to make up for being a painter with neither cafe nor commission. It felt easy like cheating. Then to a soft chair beneath a corner light to read my tome on Martin Luther King, Jr. Twenty-five years ago tomorrow I was reading from the same book the day my first daughter was born. I leave now with a poem about her, written some time ago, when I could watch football with less anxiety, paint a picture a day, and still be a moving force in my daughter’s life. I am frustrated with time. It is making me very anxious.

Trying to Catch Blue Minnows

Rhiannon is the minnow catcher
Now she is alive more than anything
She will be happy with a postcard
a small magnet
a tiny basket
or anything that is useless
She is loving wild, useless creatures
and laughing
She has never laughed with scorn,
malice, greed, envy, hatred
I don’t even know if she laughs out of goodness
She laughs, I think,
when something tickles her funny
And she laughs and cries
for the useful

O love
we know the world is a heavy breathing cop
stopping the frantic kisses of an orphaned kitten
with the threat of a bully club
thrust down its throat.
We believe that the most precious and enduring beauties
are illegal
or in the process of becoming a law against us.

So why
when our moments together are pure and giving,
do we not invite the robin, the mallard,
the seagull and the big fish
to teach us a thing or two
about catching blue minnows?
Especially now that they are the brothers of God
and receivers of our incessant beggings
for forgiveness?

O love
our lake is so clear and clean
I bet this will be the last July
that I put faith in anything but what
the sun gives and that’s that

If we want to make eternal
the wonderings of our child,
we must become real, true
believers in trees
And the dignity of a heron
who needs no face of any man or woman
will never suffer
and minnows will feel glad
when darting by
her soft and loving warmness
She stands there innocently intent
on the impossibility of catching blue minnows
A foreigner in their country
and they trust her,
even if she dons a net
I know they do.

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