Autumn Rhythm (Number 30)

Ekphrastic Poetry

It is as if by choosing this chromatic season,
with its slowing harmonies, when light grows thin and pale

on the garden wall, he might find equivalences
to the cacophony of niello swirls, that vortex of duns and pearls

in a veil of morning mist rising across the dew-soaked lawn
or damp twilight gathering like dust in unlit corners.

Perhaps between those interstices of splattered paint,
the smeared ochres and Chinese white, he could smell

wet leaves gathering in gutters, the pulpy stems of dahlias
rotting in terracotta pots or feel the low sun casting shadows

between the frost-bitten leaves of geraniums
yellowing on the slippery planks by the greenhouse door.

Maybe as the nights drew in he tried to push, like a moth
trapped in a vacated room, against the surface of visible light,

afraid that when it was done he would be left
in the dark, that irredeemable, unforgiving dark.

From Ghost Station
Published by Salt 2004

Jackson Pollock, Autumn Rhythm (Number 30), 1950

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