Coming Upon the
It startled me like an awakened baby
As I rounded the corner
To the darkened alcove where it stood.
I broke into tears.
The compact and luminous focus,
Bounded by unrelenting black
Had the effect of an emotional laser beam.
The foreground curtain of those exotic loops
And leafy patterns most loved by Matisse
Imposed a surprising depth-of-field in a small space.
The light through the window framing a palm tree canopy
Imparted a glow to the bowl of pomegranates
On the table below .
What is it about Henri’s Interior with an Egyptian Curtain
That draws one so intimately into this well-defined,
Calm and color-fast world?
I know you’re there, seated on an azure blue chair.
After all, you’re an artist, a rainbow master.
You’re inside the painting but not of it.
Out of sight, but I see you.
You light up a cigarette,
The brand that killed you.
In your thoughtful manner that I best remember,
You consider the patterns of the Egyptian curtain.
You run your imagination over the fertile pomegranate shapes.
You relish the play of colors,
The pale blue fruit bowl
On the pink cloth
By the sunlit window.
Your own being is slyly absorbed into the black borders,
But I know you’re there.
I’m your brother, blood of your blood,
That dried up and blew out the window
Of Johns Hopkins Cancer Care.
That was the day you danced into dark embraced by your lady love.
So light up now, enjoy haunting this creation.
Invade Matisse as you wish.
Inhale the chromatics of eternal contemplation.
Captain of the Universe
(In memory of Jimmy Jet)
I wanted to be Captain of the Universe,
Wear golden cuff links spewing starbursts,
Scintillas lighting up the night,
My silver Harley streaking sparks on dark country roads.
I wanted the magic power to create mysteries,
Like two headed buffalos on the western plains
Or camels born twin-Siamese on the Sahara dunes.
I’d make them run in two directions at once,
Spinning out of control, whirling dervishes of the wild.
From such magical miracles the Cree and Shoshones could
Break free of enslaving drugs and government.
The nomads could create a new religion, one of peace and majesty.
We could fill rodeo side shows and the temples of the East.
Have all the people in this creaking world
Flock, marvel and pray.
Instead, I made a web site to demonstrate my powers,
While setting traps for secret agents who were following me.
Like most laymen, they don’t understand the secret meanings
Of time-traveling the galaxies,
Nor can they decipher the tapping of dolphins on the hulls
of Navy submarines surging toward secret destinations.
People only focus on what is. Or hear only the daily noise and news.
As Captain of the Universe I could have inspired them.
But I burnt out in a streak of glory,
Brandishing my AK47,
Riding side-saddle on my bike.
I ended by driving in opposite directions,
Spinning like a darling whervish
About the Author
Robert Miss has pursued a media, marketing, and philanthropy career throughout
his adult life. But the single, continuous thread dating back to the first grade
has been poetry and storytelling. Rob earned a degree from Fordham University,
majoring in classic literature and philosophy. He felt that this prepared him
to be a Renaissance prince, but those days were over. So he set out to update
his skills with a graduate degree in journalism and communications from University
of North Carolina School at Chapel Hill. While there he entered the public television
field, producing programs, and helping to build and manage the NC statewide public
Rob received recognition from the Arvon International Poetry Award in the 1980s
when the late Ted Hughes as one of the judges awarded Rob an Honorable Mention
for his poem, Take the Train to Paradiso
. He has been published several
times in America
, the Jesuit public affairs and literary weekly and The
, published by the Franciscan Friars at Graymoor.
Rob has run five marathons and many half marathons in the U.S. and abroad, as
well as kayaking on the Hudson River and Delaware rivers. He writes frequently
about his boyhood experiences on the Potomac River and exploring the Catoctin
Mountains of Maryland.
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