Friday, January 23, 2009

Something left open to invisible ways

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Witching Hour ~ Andrew Wyeth

Witching Hour

The candles may burn backwards as the hand that
skews them comes in through the side of something
left open to invisible ways. Brooms will have none of it
and lean themselves sightless in unswept corners while
Quaker ladies tremble at the mere thought of such things.

Who will sit these black ladderbacks once we leave
the room to itself? A table no one dares touch until
it is safe to do so will simply be left to do what it does
when we are not about. A faint malagram may etch
itself into the coping, some whittless omen resistant
to
translation. Shadows spider themselves along the
unsettled ceiling while ghostfire reflickers in a smoky
flexion of
leaded panes. Scratching may be heard
from
somewhere, a tree, perhaps, laden with deerhang
kicking
for the last wood or a bled flush of futile hedgerow.
Dusk will bivouac as a ferrous barracoon, its needless

distance seized by something far braver than we.


There is dread in this light that captures the air
before it has time to exchange what it will within
us, a moment before the moment that arrests each
desperate inhalation for no reason at all. This is their
hour and we give it to them. They pass as they choose,
move about as they will, this illusion affording a briefer
life than, up to now, we scarcely imagine as being ours.

Joseph Gallo
January 16, 2009

2 Comments:

Anonymous susanna parried...

Ohhhh, I do like this post. This is my favourite painting by Wyeth. It has a haunting feeling that you've described perfectly.

January 23, 2009 4:51 PM  
Blogger Joseph Gallo parried...

Thank you, Susanna.

This is the first of a group of new pieces I am undertaking to write called Wyethry: A Poem Cycle On The Works Of Andrew Wyeth.

Ponderous sounding, eh? Maybe I should just do some Hallmark-quality light verse and call it a day. Yes, and then I could squeeze off a .45 through my brainpan.

Naw. Five down and a ton to go. It's all good. :-)

January 30, 2009 11:31 PM  

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