Duane Locke


I noted the cerise sky,
The lavender grass,
A unicorn tapestry
That hung on a clothes line
In the pastoral scene
Painted on plywood
That sat on an easel
That sat on a stairwell.

I was told the painter
Was a skeptic,
Did not believe
What the consensus
Said he was to believe,
But he loved
The smell of magnolias,
And the sight
Of tiny baby frogs.

The stairwell gave
The painter a location
For a view through
A high-up window
Where he would watch
The flights of an eagle.

He never painted the eagle,
Or anything
That his perception
Was socially constituted to see,
So he painted
What he had never seen,
This painter who painted
Plywood on an easel
Sitting on a stairwell.