Strokes All Over

The shimmering summer day cooled itself down
Into that still-life evening when a breeze–
The fringe of a small eddy–strayed in
Through my window tinkling the wind-chime loth,
To freeze in its lark, be surprised and belong.

Paints, brushes, canvas and easel–after so long
My felf-conscious fingers felt the grains of the paints,
The texture of the cloth when the wet hair
Rubbed its rough thirsty skin.

My strokes dissolved into a damp blur,
Stopping where I did not recognize it–a blurred landscape,
A strange land with no landmarks.

Dry brushes, dry paints, a blurred canvas,
A crampy easel, all as still as the blur.
I’m not yet done–I am still painting.
The dry world stands there in its blurred cramp,
A blurred river of colors, I wash through the canvas–
Stroke by stroke before it, across it, and after it,
Stroke by stroke all around it. Overflow.


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