I actually took a commission yesterday to write a poem for the birthday of a friend of a friend. It was a fun and interesting exercise. I worked mostly from a list sent to me of associations and interests of the person—and wants and wishes as well, one of which was to go to Paris. So….
In Paris. The Portraits
In Paris, the painters have no free will now.
They stand outside cafés begging the wind
To bring them strands of hair you left mingled
With wild grasses pale under the summer moon.
They stand outside cafés, forgotten red wine
Evaporating from clear carafes while they beg
The wind for strands of your hair to twist
Into brushes to paint you again on the morning
You rose singing from the seafoam, gleaming,
Hair dark and wet, tangled on your shoulders,
Water parting in sorrow from your torso, limbs,
Falling back to waves breaking at your feet.
The canvas refuses all other underdrawings
In Paris. The portraits are all of you now.
My friend David Nicholson just noted that he specifically chose the following to listen to while reading the poem. I like his choice, so I’m adding it.