All paintings by Michael Guinn
Through neon stains she steps on crumpled night so eagerly;
tonight Thirteenth and Cuthbert blows up hard... no, easily.
Piazza dark: there in between, where torches splash down puddles,
staccato heels rush doppler—eager, though uneasily.
Excitement's loops and spikes are all that's left of trade or custom;
a shoulder bag in white bears innocence, though secretly.
The old tube-benders flaunt their phosphors, drip cold-cathode light
in her absorptive eye that renders back so meagerly.
Wet hope, put up in paint, dries and cracks to longing, Mike;
where she goes, we, at our age, can't go feasibly.
EVERY DAY'S BRIDE
Lace gowns and snuggies, limos and buggies, all wait for Friday’s bride;
parties at golf clubs, champagne in hot tubs, these come to Friday’s bride.
Minimum wage, the old man in a rage, in wait for the Saturday’s bride;
Slow-growing debt, no-name cigarettes, these are for Saturday’s bride;
Unguessed contentment, reconsidered resentment, settle on Sunday’s bride;
a prosperous middle, three kids on one fiddle, endow any Sunday’s bride.
Health care not offered and sick time not proffered—not much due Monday’s bride;
fluorescent lights, swollen ankles midnights are what waits for Monday’s bride.
Husbands and lovers, long stocks and short covers come to a Tuesday’s bride;
career but not children, nephews in her will then, wait for the Tuesday’s bride.
Daughters displayed, grand-children arrayed at bed-side for Wednesday's bride;
sons at her head, a good death in her bed awaits any Wednesday's bride.
Diagnosis disputed, insurance refuted, time rushes past Thursday's bride;
inside something lingers, days count on her fingers, time slows down for Thursday's bride.
None of that matters, the climate in tatters looms over every day's bride;
drought sears crops in-land, seas die and rise again, threatening every day's bride.
THIS TO ME
Framed by woman's shape, my life once looked like this to me;
the world, all sketched essentials, yawned like an abyss to me.
Unblended colors, elemental shapes, seemed basic truth;
discovering what you were, not who, now seems remiss to me.
They sold a lot of black and blue acrylic paint, back then;
Plato's forms, all light and dark, seemed not amiss to me.
Young man's fancy feels more like an alien landscape, now,
than history's crumb and memory's swirl make your least kiss to me.
In coal mine dark, I know you by a single finger's touch;
your mixed particulars are all familiar bliss to me.
History, Bill, all your history focuses her form;
filled shapes, warmed colors are what it means to reminisce to me.
WILLIAM DENNIS lives and writes at the junction of PA, MD and DE. His work has appeared most recently in Contemporary Ghazals, published by Robert Watkins. More of his work is on display at The Last Resort Gallery. Two books of ghazal in Kindle format may be purchased through Amazon, Foreign Language: Exploring the Ghazal in English, and Better than Truth, Not Quite Translation of Ghalib, as well as other volumes of verse and fiction.
MICHAEL GUINN studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia College of Art (now Uarts) and the Fleisher Art Memorial. After two years of private study in Rome, Italy, he returned to Philadelphia in 1972 and has lived in Center City ever since. He is also a past president of the historic Plastic Club, an artist's club and gallery. A painter and draughtsman, his work is in many public and private collections.