Poetry, Summer 2001
 

Poetics 
by Michael Standaert

Covered in Roses

The fiddler plays for you in the center of the snowy city
And the painter lays down the colors when his heart heaves
While the angels all swirl at your feet in the rain
Singing of roses and the arms of the Madonna

The fiddlerís green face watches for you as he slashes the strings
And the curls turn to stone on the head of the painter
While the donkey pulls a ladder to help you climb from the gloom
Mountain goats searching the heights burned by the sun smile at you

The trees are made of stars, the branches full of ivory doves
Here a headless woman drives an ox and the painter dips his brush
And the rooster sits in the dark waiting for you to wake
In the womb is a man half-formed waiting for salvation

Will you come see me when the fiddler stops his tune
Or if the paint runs dry on the palate and I turn to my own blood
And the darkness remains after a night of staring in the mirror
Now all the clouds gather at the base of the peak, dying in vain

Iím naked now in the center of the snowy city
Bare with no paint on my fingers, my bow-tie on the dresser
And the mirror has been shattered, the face canít see itself
Only the image of you remains in the lush valley covered in roses

The Lake

The procession emerges
From the lake of the dead
With top hats, haloes faded gray
Jellyfish, poisoned faces
Blank and white with beady eyes
Weary scraps of coal, jewels
Where have their expressions gone?
This dirge like a blacksmithís hammer
Striking the anvil, sparks flying away
Rotting on the damp soil
Where are they going?
Wrapped in black, floating out of the depths
They long for the sky to engulf them
With its wicked burning smile
They want the sky to explode

Grapefruits

Juice, salty sweetness
Drips on my lips
Bitter, but I want more
Rich with nourishment
The two fruits
Sit on the shelf
Firm, soft to the touch
Dimpled like your skin
Bronzed in the sun
Shaded pale
Near where they were plucked
As you can tell
I am bored
Feeling two fruit
That remind me of you

Iím going for a walk

 

© 2001 Michael Standaert

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