What makes a shape to last
As plaster wreaths itself in dust
When earth is fired
Or retired by the next wave?
And who will save
The moment when a god is slain
Or slakes an earthly virgin’s lust?
When does a story told
Through colored composition hold
A moment’s heart?
Or start another school
And who will rule
Tomorrow’s silent silver screen
When narrative serves more than gold?
How can an empty crease
And feathered quill release
With ink and skill
The thrill of secret love?
And who will move
The kings and queens to come
And make of sorrow slight surcease?
Where have the bodies hung
In frozen air, from stages sprung
With sharp sinews
Or music, heart to steal?
And who will feel
The rhythms yet to beat.
And hear the melodies still unbegun?
Why do I need to ask?
Uncap the pen, remove the mask.
Grab hold the thought
And caught, flinch not, nor blink,
Or who will think
To build, from vision, art
And put the shoulder to the task.
Inspired by a visit to the Art Institute of Chicago in June 2003. Never let it be said that I rush my verse out the door. Also I predict this will look absurd when auto-copied into Facebook.