Salted Fields

by brian francis

I have sat before the easel
my eyes closed reaching for inspiration.
Blackness pervaded all of my thoughts,
Creation’s smolder subsided
before I even dirtied a brush.
For months I tried, I studied,
I ached for months I sought an artist.

I still own those paints
they lay with the fallow fields of my creativity-
in a heap in the shed.

I have peered through polished lenses
of photographic devices
that have found art in all places –
the perspective avoided me.
Flat and pedestrian, became my images;
gathered over all these years
and saved in a box
with their curling negatives and fading color.

I have sought passions embrace,
yet, found myself laying
with the drunken illusions of my curiosity.
Shame wrapped itself around me
concealing my stupidity.
Blinded I struggled with dragons
in barren hallucinations
driven by chemical enhancements
to my oh so imperfect self.

I have filled reams
with pages covered with embryos
of creative masturbation.
Rarely ever to find a flower
un-withered by self-criticism’s searing gaze.
Casting aside heaps
to decay and rot forgotten.

Kindness has allowed them
to refer to me as “Poet”.
It is an ill-fitting rag,
holey and stained with failure.
Vanity holds it together
like the repairs of a novice seamstress.
Sorrow leads the way
and I can only hear death’s whisper
calling me away.
Yet, I cling
to this world’s
unfinished torments
and sorrowful songs.


Copyright © 2021 brian francis