Artist’s Studio

Northwest light, pine trees and open sea,a pair of eagles circling Manana Island,the Laura B gliding into harbor,picking up mail and passengers for the tripinshore, the sound of the sea poundinggranite cliffs, cries of ravens and gulls,one last summer fly buzzing at the window,a room arrayed with easels, drying racks,brushes and brooms, the smell of spirits

Northwest light, pine trees and open sea,
a pair of eagles circling Manana Island,
the Laura B gliding into harbor,
picking up mail and passengers for the trip
inshore, the sound of the sea pounding
granite cliffs, cries of ravens and gulls,
one last summer fly buzzing at the window,
a room arrayed with easels, drying racks,
brushes and brooms, the smell of spirits
of turpentine and spar varnish, walls
covered with paintings-a single sunflower,
portraits of four old men seated on a porch,
a still life of onions and gourds rolling out
from a paper bag, the middle gourd striped
and tan, posed like a bent-over woman
seen from behind, onions on either side
arrayed like her escorts at a royal ball,
their papery brown skins peeling away
in Psychiatry’s greatest metaphor:
that our minds are structured like onions,
each layer understood as a revelation
of some deeper, more meaningful mystery.
I know the artist will laugh when I tell her
what I saw in fall crops painted on a piece
of cloth, and she will point out her craft-
brushstrokes on a yellow background
bright as the harvest moon, the blending
of colors and light, how the bag couldn’t
hold the abundance, yet was big enough
to contain the worlds we both imagine.