(An International Journal of Poetry)
ISSN 2249 –2178
Volume-3 DECEMBER -2013 Number-2
by Jane Beal
I did not know myself. I could not feel
my pulmonary capacity, the inner workings
of my cardiovascular musculature, the intricate
connections between my veins. My blood
was marble. I had my being in white darkness.
The idea of my form began to materialize
on earth, as it is in heaven, in the dreams
of a sculptor, my sculptor, a man whose thoughts
were set in stone and whose hands knew the beauty
of my hardness: the mystery of my becoming.
Hammer. Chisel. Marble splintering, a cloud of white dust
settling on his skin. I was touching him for the first time,
the fragrance of my stonework easing into his pores,
the sounds of my slow birth entering his ears, the cool
white taste of me on his tongue: his vision emerging.
All of his senses awakened to my nature, his desire
kindled in his heart of flesh a flame of prayer
breathed out in silence, hanging in the workshop air above
amethyst and sapphire, granite and golden flecks of mica,
and the opal necklace he clasped against my collarbone.
My soul was stirring inside of me, the eyes of my eyes
were opening, when he lay me down on the crimson coverlet
and went away for a festival day. The ears of my ears
were awakening! The tongue of my tongue tasted pure water!
When he returned to me, the light shining through the window
touched me at the same time his hands touched me.
Softness. Warmth. I could feel myself, the hardness inside
becoming flesh, my heart pumping marble that turned
to blood, my lungs filling with air, lifting my ribcage,
my breath drawing the scent of him into the innermost part of me.
With white lilies, I made a crown for my hair, all living
things became mine, as I dreamed of a form from heaven
stirring inside of me, in my hidden workshop of water and blood:
the tiny eyes and ears, nose and mouth, flesh forming
her father’s hands, her mother’s womb: Paphos, my island
girl, born out of stone and light, marble and flesh, prayer
and the power to create in open space the form of desire.
LA GUERNICA IN COLOR
by Jane Beal
I saw La Guernica when I was ten –
for the first time, a Pablo Picasso!
But someone had added color to it.
Bold blues, bloody reds, a brown horse’s head
severed from his twisting body beside
a woman posed like the mater dolor-
rosa, her eyes weeping off her malformed face
onto the broken body of her child
while the horse’s hooves trample a soldier
named José, who is dreaming of a bull-
fight, a red matador cape, forgetting
the blade of his sword has been broken off:
the ghosts of the dead are screaming over
him as the eye of God opens like light.