Sunday, May 25, 2014


Pen, ink, charcoal, silver exposure,

the time it took to focus --

I try to honor what made it,

not who, resisting the forced

twisting of my vane to the East

on this decidedly Western day,

and the visual bane of pen, ink,

and charcoal clues, chemically cured,

hand-swiped beastly bled-of-color visions, various

bleak bombs, the requisite clinging siblings,

and wonder whether to thank the artist

for cuing up the Orient as horror's home

again (though my vane does creak,

rust breaking, trailing oxidated orange,

auroral to the curse) -- for that

is not my home.

Not my bones cured to artist's tools;

shapely flint, with which you etch

and smear, for that, I tell you,

is not my home, not my bones, seared on silver

plate -- hold the count exposures and f-stops,

not my tall, lean western frame

carressing entryways, kissing

vapored hands to hand-honed brick,

tonguing mason-made insets of stone,

down by the water, no mortar -- "a dry stone wall

will outlive its maker" -- vapor

coalesced without steam

or streak to run a charcoaled finger through,

in nice rice paper play (kaa-chan?kaa-chan?), crinkling

winds, dust snakes scrape, then color my eye,

and give my plump mouth, my cornea

the pop of orange,

iodine from heaven,

Tibbets' Mama.

Floating Lantern: Hiroshima Speaks Out

What difference what disaster is, when what is

is not my home?  A tsunami brings the sun,

cruel fast, a quake the urge to run, but bombs

make children huddle, under desks, under anything,

(kaa-chan?kaa-chan?) because that vacuum

suck that sucks your air whirls round

to scream "nothing, nothing, I will leave

you nothing," but all this art, this memorial mess,

your pastel bones, your charcoal bones,

your frozen frieze, your never again need

to pose there where is not home, my vain

conceit to cruise at perfect altitude,

to race the cloud, and laugh a little

for relief at being alive, and that you survived

to hug and curl in radiated ruin, fat pink legs

in utero gone soot to soot,

you there, all together and alone,

so very, very not my home.

© 2013 L. Ryan

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