The Morphology of Compassion & Indifference (2)

Painting:  Ananda Kesler

Painting: Ananda Kesler


Raindrops advance
kamikaze-style, surrendering
individual, perfect smallness

Do tears caused by an onion
look differently under a microscope
than tears of grief?

A cracked shard of glass
reflects the sun as beautifully
as a church window

Pizzicato spider feet
play cobweb harps up
in heaven near the ceiling

The sun’s lips kiss the earth
goodbye so fervently
they bleed

Stars sparkle with glory
but are dead
and don’t know anyone’s story

Who notices that grasshoppers
pray summer sacred, that pebbles
are soft like a child’s wrists?

—Published in Red River Review

I wrote this poem in graphite on the back wall of the mezzanine at ICON Gallery as part of an exposition called “Bill’s Room,” which also included graphite drawings by Bill Teeple and Xerox art work by Toni d’Orr. Photo of this exhibit directly below taken by Joëlle Matthias (more of her photos are posted on the home page of this site). In the slideshow at the bottom of this page photos by Iowa City artist and former University of Iowa professor, David Dunlap. The last photo in the slideshow is by musician Heather Miller.

Photo: Joëlle Matthias, Poetry Wall, ICON Gallery, Fairfield, Iowa

Photo: Joëlle Matthias, Poetry Wall, ICON Gallery, Fairfield, Iowa