The Pursuit of Air

Breathing is just a dance with air

which is why, some of us feel more of out breathe than others

and why our exertion bears a name as similar:

‘Winded’.

It’s why our amazement is

‘breathless’

and why elation lands us on clouds-

The sky, and the stars, and the streams and hills

filling our land-spun gills with words that waltz with meaning in meadows

and puff our waking visions full of the sound and scent of that always-greener grass.

-Amy Struthers

If Words Were a Waltz

If words were a waltz

on a page of this stage,

men might linger on language,

and languish the age

as each tip of the heel,

with each click of the tongue,

renders syllables spoken

or broken, as sung.

Where each note is a blot

bleeding thoughts into strings,

when the spots we call words

are the birds bouncing wings,

in the dance we call breath,

by a gesture of speech,

when the throats sending quotes learn the motions they teach.

If words were a waltz,

we might cherish the sound,

of finding our footing in losing our ground.

For in rhythms we find, that words give as they take

when sentences reason for structures they break.

-Amy Struthers

The Night Train

The Night Train

All children’s ears fall on the pulse of the night train’s shiftless hum,

never knowing where it’s going, or in turn, is coming from.

Every year, its starlight travels low, as to not disturb the night,

whose perfect moon, beyond the trees, is turning hills to white.

A quiet steam sifts through the air, melting bits of falling snow

as the night train chugs through sapphire clouds and beams of amber glow.

In a sense, perhaps it’s best it passes once a year,

for the night train wouldn’t be the same without the Christmas cheer.

It’s as if the course sees it is one, for the moon becomes its star,

when the trees with lights of brilliant whites are mirror of its car.

Oh night train, must I wait another year to see your steam?

Passing by my way just once and fading into stream.

-Amy Struthers

 

Memento Mori

Tell two artists to create life in words

and what you’ll receive in a pulse

will be enough.

Living begins when we see that every person passing through

harbors a story we do not,

has a solution to some problem

we have yet to realize,

is the voice for one lost

and the encouragement to one beginning.

Tell two artists to create life in words

and you will see in a toss why the coin has two sides.

 

Anat asks ‘Why’

to which Art replies,

“Does the faint tapping on a goatskin drum

steadily grow louder the more we learn and seek to play thunder?”

 

A thread as tied to hers

spun by colors she has yet to see.

 

In a toss, we mark our coins.

 

As men utter ‘life is without reason’ or mutter, by exhausted breaths, that

‘artists lose…or gain to understand’,

Anat plays to a tune that time forgets and begets.

 

With an eye towards heaven, the doting daughter replies,

“You and I are the voices,

forever searching for others who will understand,

share,

connect,

change

a dying world into one that lives for art:

the heart of the people,

we’ve somehow forgotten

make us whole.”

 

Tell two artists to create life in words,

and what you’ll receive in a pulse

will be enough.

-Amy Struthers

Untitled

Based on ‘The Millinery Shop’ by Edgar Degas.

The-Millinery-Shop-1886-Edgar-Degas

Grace in the folds that she fixes-

dignified

modest…

and bold-

shifting her shift,

in the storeroom, she drifts

perfectly poised in the cold-

There’s a warmth to the textures she touches-

there’s a depth to the dip of her hand

when, in humming the beats widows spin from the streets

she’s moved by a gossamer band.

-Amy Struthers