Archive | art

Translation Blues (Ekphrastic Challenge)

  Ekphrasis: “Description” in Greek. An ekphrastic poem is a vivid description of a scene or, more commonly, a work of art. Through the imaginative act of narrating and reflecting on the “action” of a painting or sculpture, the poet may amplify and expand its meaning. A notable example is “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” […]

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Little Brother

Little Brother In the late afternoon the blue room fills with languid light. Three little girls stand round while in Mother’s arms the new baby stills his little cries, that new strange squalling sound. Mother gazes down at her well-wrapped son He’s in pink, as is she, warm, strong color of rosy cheeks and cats’ […]

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Stumbling Stones

Stumbling Stone Not really a stone. A little bronze plate the size of a cobblestone, flush with the pavement. No one could trip over it except the way the eye catches on something bright and the mind cannot let it go, that idea that stays with you all day long until you go back to […]

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Winter’s Night in the Mountains

Winter’s Night in the Mountains Just after sunset the sky is the perfect shade of heart-aching blue that you only see when the firmament yearns between daylight and dark. There isn’t a word for that color. And in the sky a silver star blazes heraldic between the two white peaks— (Or perhaps it’s a sliver […]

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Wrestling with the Angel

Wrestling with the Angel When I was ten (or was I six? or eight?) I had an infection in my right hip. Walking was agony, the joint inflamed. It was long ago, but I remember struggling to limp across the yard, stiff-legged in my plaid school jumper. Ever since, that joint has periodically rebelled— either […]

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Mother Thoughts

Mother Thoughts She’s wrapped the quilt, red and white, about her shoulders and around the baby too. Snug in their nest, her mind’s adrift— forgotten her book, the painter, his brush. Forgotten the flowers and the little hands that collected them from the garden this morning and put them in the vase. Forgotten… voices calling, […]

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The Ball

The Ball On summer afternoons the park shimmers where trees cast silent shadow symphonies across the grass and gravel. Her own shadow races ahead to grasp the ball before she can scoop it up, already sun-warm, in her hot hands. Her white pinafore flaps behind like angel wings. Her hair streams from beneath her straw […]

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Bonne Maman

    Bonne Maman In the dim room she has a light to read by. One foot rocks the cradle as she turns the pages of her book. The lamp burns more brightly than you’d think and she’s covered the cot with a blanket to block the lamp’s light and the drafts. Until she thinks […]

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A Late Riser’s Miserable Breakfast

A Late Riser’s Miserable Breakfast The girl in the striped dress and black ribbons sulks over her cold and solitary breakfast: unfair that everyone else got lovely hot eggs while she’s facing cold loaf and tepid tea in the detested checked mug. And terribly unfair that her sister in her red beret is already slipping […]

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Sailing Boats, Morning

Sailing Boats, Morning The ship’s shadow ripples like spilled ink on the water’s soft blue gauze as if a clumsy scribe upset his bottle, distracted by the way the settling sun has stained the tops of the great brown sails with hearth fire’s dying coals. The harbor is a yellow haze haunted by ghost ships […]

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