I Once, Your Other Darkness
for two paintings, one by Caravaggio,
'The Conversion of St. Paul, '
the other by William Hawkins, 'Horse'
I once, your other darkness, quoted Hopkins to you,
of seasons of dryness in the bitter pitch midst
his discovery, 'What I do is me, for that I came, '
not a text for self worship but, rather, an assent
to keep world woe intimate, felt in that greater
scape - inner - making poems from orphan woe, from
furtive grace which eludes then storms, in bleakest
place sudden parses in the greener green,
newly, of things while pleading still,
'Lord, send my roots rain.'
In the shorter light, the extended
night, of cold and star-bright questions,
may you cast clumsy net forward into
what it all might mean to fretted you,
to me, stretched canvas, though I will
not thrust these words upon your paint
or pen but make offering for your own
work to feed us through the eyes;
perhaps time to remount the horse
and soldier on, or to fall again, gain
Damascus perspective, from one's
back watch vision distort massive
horse into a God receding into necessary
darkness foregoing image,
see what may form in the spreading dirt,
what resurrection there is in the smell of paint.
Caravaggio, (1571 – 1610) , Italian painter,
'in painting not equal to a painter, but to Nature itself'
- from his epitaph
William Hawkins, (1895-1990) , self-taught American artist
'His dynamic, artistic style was forged from his optimistic,
hard-charging, 'survivor' mindset.'
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