Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Sirocco

A murder of crows soars above the golden corn,
Their wings furled against the buffeting wind.
Beneath this blinding glare of Provencal sun,
The sky is heavy with the steam of wet earth,
And a cloth is tied to my head, like a brigand
A dark blood-stain is just above my right ear.

Yesterday I saw the evening bleeding for you,
The hours so fierce they cut me like a knife,
A careless move would have torn me to shreds.
Just as these crows rip and tear one another.
As lightening arcs through my thoughts of you,
I am shaken by the sheer power of this place.

I can find no shelter from the hot sirocco.
So I spiked my canvas to the stubble plain;
For it to catch the leaping bonfire of sun.
The nearby fields are swept by flaming light,
Nature's conflagration - bewildering assault,
Builds in me until my Being is also burning.

Your power stays with me in your dark eyes,
I see your stockings and your dark-green shawl
Where you left them on the chair by the bed.
It never mattered where your life had taken you;
That brief evening you made my past melt away.
You held me for nothing then Rachel and smiled.

All of that's over now, even the bleeding-
(The ear bleeds far more than one would think)
I'm a curiosity with this old, seasoned rag
Tied on my head like some hopeless traveler.
They laugh even when my north star is dying.
Even though they can see I've lost my way.

In pale absinthe I know they can't find me.
With blank expressions and furtive glances.
I've have been pecked to death by scavengers
In their contempt, ridicule, and negation.
My nerves are strained. Gachet has said that.
Gachet's a quack, he needs his own medicine.

These crows, everywhere blotting out the sun,
Tear at everything vulnerable and exposed-
Battle over the crumbs of the fallen earth.
Dark eyes are disdainful, imperial as death,
Glutted with the remains of former dreams,
Time rushes past our insubstantial being.

If you could see beyond this broken body,
These wild eyes, this mass of rusty hair...
They sat I crept up on Gauguin with a razor.
I had nothing to give you but a part of me.
When time passed and nothing was here at all,
I must leave you now my love, don't forget me.

Brent Hightower
Copyright 2016 Brent Hightower
*Wheatfields with Corn, Vincent Van Gogh, Image Public Domain