Emphasis on Ekphrasis

Painting by Clay Beasley

By A Spider’s Thread

A man’s strand of hair dangles
by a spider’s thread. A man is gone.
By a spider’s thread
everything consequence.

She trims the candle wick,
lights it, and takes two steps
towards the dark window.
She falls short,
stares at the blackness,
and places the candle on the floor.

Dust scattered boards creak
under the mother rocking
in the night. Candle light
rubs the walls and bends
the shadow of the crib.
The baby breathes in.
The mother stares out
the window.

Her reflection is darkness
split into eight frames of glass;
a painting of her ghost
she wishes would run away
and find his. A man is gone.
A spider’s thread hangs from ceiling to crib.
She stares at her baby. And then back
at the spider. And back
at her baby. The candle doesn’t flicker.
The mother doesn’t breathe.

A man is gone.
And the crib dangles by a spider’s thread.

"Woman Passing By" Clay Beasley

“Woman Passing By” Clay Beasley

The Skyface

Look at my face.
Do you you want to see the
sky? Again. No,
look at my face
before it sets. The sun, no.
My face. Look at my face.

I have something to tell you.
I’m leaving.
I need you to look at me
when I’m leaving. I’m giving you
one more chance.
Look at my eyes.

I’m not finished. I know, but
look at my face. Because I’m leaving
I need to see you see me.

Do you see the sky?
Okay. Now do you see it’s face?
The skyface?
It isn’t the same isn’t it.
I have to go.

Look at my face.
Do you want to see the sky again?
Look at my face, before it sets.
Not the face. My sun.
My faceset.

I have something to tell you.
I’m leaving.
I need you to look at me look at you.
I’m giving you
one more chance.

Look at my eyes. They aren’t
I know, because I’m leaving.
I need you to see you see me.
Do you see the sky’s face? It isn’t the same.
It isn’t the same.
I have to go.
I’m taking the sky with me.

6 thoughts on “Emphasis on Ekphrasis

  1. Well I learned a new word, ekphrasis, which my autocorrect doesn’t recognize. I had to call you to get the meaning of your two poems. I do like the idea of you combining a picture done by another artist, with only the title of the picture, given to it by it’s creator, to clue your imagination in on what his thoughts were in creating it. You enjoy your control over the reader by writing ” in code” , as it were , and teasing the one you’ve engaged in your labyrinth of possible meanings. I don’t have this discipline of mind to lay out a path of slowly fading in and out of clarity of meaning in what I write. People don’t have to care enough about what I write to go back and piece together all the clues I’ve laid out that eventually culminate into a fluid thought that finally makes sense! So , kudos to you! You have managed to mix your global and analytic sides together to create poetry. I can’t do that but it doesn’t stop me from enjoying the gift you have for it. Thanks for helping me not remain Clueless!!😳

    • Well I think poems are like technology for some people in they think they don’t get it, but once you get used to it it isn’t as confusing as you think. But I always appreciate your thoughtful comments and really the fact that you take the time to put effort into a response shows you truly care. Thank you for always being an amazing support.

  2. Every time I try to comment on your posts, I end up taking at least 15 minutes trying to find my wordpress password and then end up having to reset it Haha. Jackson, I am, as usual, blown away by your truly amazing work. You know how much I love poetry, and both of these poems sing to my soul. The first poem took my breath away, and I was almost overwhelmed by the second poem because they were both so good. Write a book I these so I can tote the book around in my purse and read it during my spare time. So good!!

    • I know you of all people love poetry and the fact that you spend so much time just to let me know you read it means so much. Really, it does. Thank you for always being supporting even when it’s not convenient. But I love the idea of you walking around (in Paris) with a book of my poems.

  3. Jackson, when I read your poetry I always get all tongue tied. My heart begins to speak a language that I am not capable of uttering. It speaks to a deep place (mostly because it is coming from such a deep well). Amazing!! Keep writing. I love that you give voice to Clay’s art! What a team!

    • Poetry is such a chance to place words together like arranging furniture. Sometimes you gotta move it around until it speaks to you in a way that invites you to feel the ensemble working at its best. I love that you open up to what I write and let yourself experience it. It makes such a creative difference to have a loving force like you in my life.

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