Lori Lamothe's third book, Kirlian Effect, is due out in in 2017 from FutureCycle Press. New poems are forthcoming this year in Cider Press Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, Ilanot Review, Redux and elsewhere. She lives in New England in an old Cape with her daughter, a red Siberian husky and precarious stacks of TBR piles.
Garden Path with Chickens
after Gustav Klimt
One's stopped mid-way to stare
at something inside the colors.
The other, at least partly on task,
is almost there. There being,
as always, a place too shadowed by distance
to describe in much detail.
That's the thing with beauty.
Some days it can reach out from the sidelines
and stumble you cold.
If you're not vigilant it just might turn you
away from forward for good.
Truth be told, even chicken number one
never reached his place in the shade —
the painting hidden in the Austrian castle
torched by SS troops
on their march toward history.
Witness hollyhocks, morning glory.
Witness the painting, the leaves,
the sun that some fine century
will surely burn
even its own light to the quick.
The Blue Tree
shines through the window
each branch weighted with a universe
of discount-store stars.
In all honesty, it's nothing
like that other year —
me barreling home
after another bad day armed with box
upon box of red string lights,
their demon eyes
scaring off the neighbors
and alarming the dog.
No, this year's something wholly
different, the tree more
than a riff on sky, lake, sea —
its shape a bell rippling
from some unseen center.
Witness the color of serenity
burning steady in darkness.
Note how the tree holds itself absolutely
still at the eye of blue,
how it waits
for even the recycled tinsel
to free itself from cliché and gleam
in the room's snow-globe silence.
He would have been no more
than the size of a sparrow,
but no one knows the arc of his flight
or if his kind flew at all.
Even so, his chestnut fuzz caught the world
for a moment in its own amber, in an idea
of dinosaurs roaming the earth,
bounding blue and crimson and canary yellow
across uncharted possibilities —
each one trailing ten-foot feathers
monstrous enough to fill with dark ink
but hollow just the same,
as if we really could rewrite
the history of survival from scratch —
only this time in a softer octave,
a watercolor blur of patterns lifting
over the enormous, indelible cursive
of so many species
trampling toward extinction.
Lost & Found is published by Glass Poetry Press as part of Glass: A Journal of Poetry. This project publishes work that was accepted by journals that ceased publication before the work was released.
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