Painting & poem by Oklahoma Council of Teachers of English member Michael Angelotti. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
I see in her closed eyes, a poet,
a concrete garden statue of a young woman,
cast with love, beauty in her
streams, her flows of grayness,
sweetness in her look, her pose,
configured as though in meditation,
in composing a poem of life,
searching what she sees inside herself
all that is outside.
She sees rhythms of black and white
within and without
and ponders the colors
of sympathy, love and understanding.
She contemplates the fossilized vertebra
upon which she sits, perhaps a brontosaurus
once reaching its long, graceful neck
and delicate face to the stream beneath,
soft tongue lapping in and out of mossy shadows
swirling smooth eddies whispering light and dark
beckoning fresh images to her canvas
flowing colors to find a place in the natural world
for the women and men, so many women and men she sees
gray no names trudging the path singing like walking statues
music boxes inside just going just going just going
everyone she sees trudges and sings.
She sees in their eyes, the marchers,
some of them, who clutch tightly
honesty, love of self, of race, of humanity,
a wanting for recognition as human beings,
a fierceness, a wanting of change of change of change
inside themselves, a wanting for love,
fairness, respect, dignity, a need for wholeness,
for life without a rot of fear so deep within
that it is there in sleep, in walking, in art,
in love, in dreams, in going to the store for a bag of peanuts,
in eating a hamburger.
In others she sees searching,
looking into the eyes of their brothers and sisters,
mothers and fathers, for a relief of feeling lost,
buffaloes in the middle of the herd,
running to run, from the wolves,
survival overpowering everything else,
not being trampled in the thunder,
not being sure where they are going,
wanting to know, wanting to hope,
feeling the warmth of companions,
wanting to survive, wanting not
to go on in the same way,
wanting a clear, sharp, defined life,
willing to die for it all.
Still others, just there, to be counted,
maybe reaching to feel it,
needing to feel it, thinking of something else,
waiting for it to end.
In each one, passion for all,
in each one, a need for control.
She sees in the eyes of “The Thinker”
what Rodin intended, then
what Dante intended, then,
in “The Circles of Hell,”
and what she sees now,
the folly of intention,
the truth of human minds
who see inside the eyes of art,
mingling with its creative artist,
releasing their souls into the souls
of brush, chisel, and word,
feeling for a taste of truth.
She sees in me herself, and I into her,
a poet, a painter, in my eyes a searcher
for truth, so elusive, so undefined,
so clear when it is absent.