Painting the View – a poem by Charles Haddox

Painting the View

. . . for holy theologians frequently liken that which is superessential and formless to fire.
                                                                  —Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite

River light on your mind,
the hunter’s snare of thoughts,
withdraws beneath a silver flock 
of wading birds with restless eyes.
What faultless day is long enough
for secret errands, flight unfolding,
signs left with a multitude
pale in shrouded winter mist?
I’ve known it all
through other eyes,
just as the artist on a cave wall
left a hint of that pure seeing
in the bull’s red ochre hair.

You speak of what the world misses,
sketched from dawn,
reflected from
our daily bread of hands and currents.

Unmoored branches floating free
with their seasoned shapeliness.

Throw your fire offering
to the water’s canopy.

Reviving now
a world in art,
tracing that primeval space
risks attracting fire trucks

alarmed by flames, by flames.

Charles Haddox lives in El Paso, Texas, on the U.S.-Mexico border, and has family roots in both countries.  His work has appeared in a number of journals and anthologies.

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