Artistic Attempts: A Poem

Artistic Attempts

(I once heard a man
Call a painting “trash.”
“That’s not art,” he said.
It hurt me deeply,
Even though the painting did not belong to me
Or anyone I knew.)

Art is more than a painting
Or a sculpture.
Art is the cool touch of paint on your fingers
And the feeling of the brush in your hand.

Art is feeling.

Art is a bouquet of flowers,
Wilting and falling apart
But that won’t be thrown away for another week because you want to remember who gave them to you
And the feeling you felt when they did.

Art is a campfire crackling,
Smoldering in the embers,
And when you turn your face away and look up,
Art is the cold rush of wind brushing your blushing cheeks.

Art is, indeed, the painting of a picture,
And also the singing of a song
And the writing of words in the middle of the night with messy handwriting on a piece of scrap paper.
But art is more.

Art is the first warm day in Spring,
And the first crisp Autumn afternoon,
And the Firsts and the Lasts of everything,
And all the Befores and the Afters.
Art is memory, and the reverse is also true.

Art is nostalgia, childhoods of the hottest summers
And the longest days
And the coldest watermelons
And the bluest swimming pool.

Art is climbing to the top of a tree
And seeing the world,
And getting stuck in the tree so your mother has to climb up and fetch you down,
And the moment your feet are firmly on the ground,
Up you clamber again,
So your mother has to come after you once more.

Art is every mother.
Mothers have art etched in their every vein,
There nestled by the pain when they watch their last child move away.
Art is their memory,
When they first cradled a tiny person against their already-aching chest.

Art is the fathers
Who wish they could be home more,
Who wish they could go to soccer games
And first-grade plays,
Or just tuck in the blankets and check the closet a seventh time
For the monsters.
(Fathers fight monsters.)

Art is leaving your umbrella propped against a fence
To shelter the skin-and-bones cat from the winter drizzle,
The cat that only wants to sleep for awhile
Before another person sinks a shoe between its ribs.

Art is the boy who asks the girl
If she’s okay,
Even when he knows she isn’t,
Because he can clearly see the bruises under her eyes
And the slowly-forming scars on the wrist under her sweater-sleeve.

Art is that time between awake and asleep,
When you feel all the weight of the world
Slip off of your shoulders
As your head sinks into the pillow.

Art is life,
And the reverse is also true.

©The Wild Poesy, 2012-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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Artistic Attempts: A Poem

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