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

Paper-thin Parchment

When I was six,

I crafted a heart from glue and loose glitter

on a morning, too far gone from now.

At an age, where a cow

jumped over the moon

and sung of spoons I had yet to bend

on plates, fated to be shattered by falling stars.

Dear six-year-old me,

trapped between the blank slate and the final stare,

don’t pay that blue much mind.

When you find

paper-thin parchment just so easily tears,

my prayer is that you’ll use that same-colored crayon

to construct a kaleidoscope

based on the wonder you’ve been told

and the colors you have yet to see.

Today, my heart broke,

which is to say for you,

it is just beating.

May this glue be your assurance that some things stick

despite the years

and wear on the hands that press red into the folds.

-Amy Struthers

Heather

Based on ‘In the Grass’ by Arthur Hughes.

Arthur_Hughes_-_In_the_Grass-1

Heather

Sing to me of scarlet skies and I will paint you a valley,

sealing your sigh in my wind.

One, where on topaz mornings,

I might look out onto restless waves

and see in their rise,

a reason why my heart skips stones.

Or on evenings

when she speaks of thrones,

no rose can compare to a queen of floral reign

when the knights they hail

pause to kiss the hands for which they live and die.

Oh then,

might you and I

brand our blush with the hue we call our passion,

and fashion a love that reminds us of our roots.

-Amy Struthers

Here, Besides

Claude_Monet_-_Woman_with_a_Parasol_Facing_Left

Based on ‘Woman with a Parasol Facing Left’ by Claude Monet.

 

Here, Besides

In cleansing a pigment-encrusted brush,

who turns their nails to scrape the clay-colored sands

and play with the corals that sprout from a cup of clouded sea?

Where blue bonnets can be,

who dares to wash a wonder that is a window of time

gazing into a glass-eyed girl

or stands to part the ochre shades

that exhale into a robin wind?

-Amy Struthers

 

Pallet

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Based on Erich Heckel’s ‘Windmill, Dangast’.

Pallet

A tomato paste barn shivers

in a jug of wind

as a bashful beaker

drips cool currants

down its side.

It’s Clyde

in a common setting

forgetting young Dale

and the rattle of nails

sharp enough to silence

planks.

It’s Joseph in the ranks

looking for Lottie in the dirt,

and citrus peeled

in a broom-closet barricade.

-Amy Struthers

Moonlight on 7th

Based on Joseph Christian Leyendecker’s painting ’The Violinist and His Assistant’.

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Moonlight on 7th

Who could imagine a tree 

singing of heaven 

in an uprooted forest

or the Actaeon of ambition 

daring to quench his thirst 

with a sonata

that waltzes on glass?

 

Here

stir the sonnets of broken bars

and the metronomed soles

downing the beats  

they call 

ichor. 

 

Tossing peanuts into caps, 

a sleight of hand sprouts diamonds from the waterlogged wells

and in a misguided hope,

spares a penny for good luck.

 

In a city that’s forgotten its core,

what’s to make of the hollow, 

in which the hair of Pegasus still sounds?

 

Grazing the grounds,

the stag strings his bow with a quivering arrow.

His marrow?

The moonlight.

-Amy Struthers

Study Break

Based on Frederick Judd Waugh’s ‘The Setting Sun’.

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Study Break

Who can write a poem when they’re about to crash
or as inlet eyes lull the act of fishing for words to sleep?
The motions we keep
with the tide,
next to the stickered-up steno with its wide
mouth agape
and its blue lines bobbing
in the yellowed waters for penciled minnows.

-Amy Struthers