Select a Poem to Transform into a Piece of Art
** Please Note that once a poem is selected, it will be removed from this list. Only one poem per person.
Tasting the Day
Green tomatoes taste
like the tart crispness of sunrise
Clouds garnish beet-pink sky
She greets the savory day
with words of fresh citrus
for a brighter taste
Adds green curry paste while
visiting with a neighbor who
does his own dialysis
He sleeps with fragrant purple basil
outside his bedroom window
She hoes her golden corn
Eats marshmallows of whimsical flavors
flecked with 24 carat gold
When it is night she makes
jet black brioche rolls, the dough
rolled in Japanese charcoal powder
One teaspoon of powder colors 12 rolls
which doesn’t change the flavor
but it’s really the softness of the bread
That is the thing
It is, she says
like eating a cloud
let other poets write––
I’ll carve your name in sand, paint
your colors in air, sculpt
water into your shape
and when one of us leaves,
I’ll open my hand, release
a paper lantern
flickering in the dark
They discovered a directional system of
petroglyphs in Utah. The treasure at the end
of the trail isn’t gold. It’s water. These “water
glyphs” pointed directly toward a single tree,
to a nearby water source.
––Maurice Evans, Wilderness Utah
An ancient trail snakes across
sandstone and shattered shale
where a solitary cedar breaks the stark horizon.
Twisted roots reach deep to drink.
how did you know you could grow here?
Surrounded by cactus, sand, tumble weeds
and rocks, you grabbed hold and pushed
your way to the sun.
How did you know you could grow here?
The vast desert emptiness rings.
Sage whispers carry the wind, lifting
Raven and butterfly to new heights,
waiting for an issue of rain.
how did you know this tree would be here?
How did you know outstretched, smooth,
cattle-rubbed branches would reach for you,
offering shelter and rest in this lonely place?
How did you know you could grow here?
On a rock panel above an aimless weaving of wheat grass,
the Ancient Ones engraved images of a split circlem
leaving their voices in a chiseled code,
a secret water glyph guide
pointing the way
to a solitary cedar.
-Candy Lish Fowler
Smell of rain and a ruckus of gulls above the ball fields
drew his eyes from class work to the yard. It was a snatch of song
that caught him though, turned him fully in his seat
toward the raised window, listening for the bird fluting his name,
notes tangled in a warbled knot, loosed in a freshet of sound,
spilling in across the sill, down rows of desks,
each bowed head deaf to the music, lost in the solvability of sums.
Except him. Borne on ripples of birdsong back to the close world
of shuffling papers and shifting chairs, he shot his hand up in the air
to tell his class the meadowlark sings
Bradley is a pretty little boy
(his mama told him so)
grinning in private knowledge until other boys
threw back their heads and laughed. The school yard sang
the meadowlark’s taunts days beyond his counting.
He took to throwing stones at its yellow breast.
Oftentimes the bird still calls. Rising from his work
he spies it there, atop post or pole,
its beak lifted to the morning, singing of a boy.
Sometimes he disavows the name in the air
and turns to settle once more to his task.
Sometimes he recalls when he was pretty,
made of rain, an arc of color over trees,
and clears notes falling on the breath of spring.
He stands remote, this stoic Plains Indian.
A warrior wrapped in is pride, his ‘old ones’
chant and sing while he is blessed.
He has used the vision of his manly test
to guide him, no the sacred songs.
Nearby in a sandy circle is painted hidden
meaning for his quest. He searches for perfect
willows, bends them to a circle while his hands
imprint a message that only he knows––the fur
and rawhide accepts, will last many moons.
He hefts its taut fit, feels it divide the winds, circles
it into the sky, chants, makes it part of him and earth.
To this, his mandella, he sings his song, then ties in eagle
feathers, the blessed bow points and his mother’s hair.
by Marilyn Ball