Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Tuesday Poem: An earlier version was published by The Church And The Artist Anthology in 1987


 
What If Giacometti Were 
God In One Of His Dreams?

Tossing and turning in a Heaven
clotted with plaster dust,
while what He’d been so sure of,
shrinks to almost nothing as He works it,
or crumbles in His hands
as He grabs at His pounding heart.

He keeps what’s left of them
in his shirt pocket:
little specks of dust: fit a 
hundred inside a matchbox.
How they shock Him 
whenever He opens it, and sets 
them out on the firmament.

How the clouds cradling His
slumber roar and shake
as he studies their hunger,
their heads, too heavy to hold up
on delicate bowing spines.
How sad and spent they seem --
like matches past their light,
or saplings with shallow roots,
wan and vulnerable
on ludicrous big feet.

Plant them and the faintest wind
will flatten them, send them
to rot and mire, until the earth gets
fed up enough to spit them out.
He’ll never get them right.

God in a sweat, while down below,
Picasso can do no wrong. Picasso
with his horny incandescence.
What joke is eternal night 
playing on Him now? Thus He 
cries out and wakes Himself.

The Garden at present looks peaceful,
the man busy at his naming, the woman
strolling brightly beneath the trees,
though He sees the whole thing heading for a fall.

Surely, there’s something to be learned here.
Let new modes of being commence! 
Besides, He quite enjoys the suspense.

3 comments:

Michelle Elvy said...

Quirky and strange and full of life and humour -- in a kind of darkish way. Love the contrast to Picasso.

Helen Lowe said...

I saw the Giacometti exhibition that toured NZ a few years back and found the strange stick figures quite powerful 'in the real.'

Eileen D. Moeller said...

I love Giacometti's work, Helen. But I read a biography many years ago that talked about an artistic crisis he had that eventually led him to his mature style. It was quite troubling that his work crumbled and shrunk beneath his touch, and he showed up to a prearranged show in Switzerland with all of the work he had contained in a few matchboxes. He was nearly thrown out of the gallery! It made me wonder if we humans, and how we turned out, caused God to have just such an artistic crisis.