Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Colorado Winter Landscape

At such altitudes

one is forced to consider

whether anywhere within a

thousand miles

is not surrounded by

ice and hard landscapes

so cold that breath hangs like

doubt against the hope-blue sky

(the backdrop against which

potential must be measured),

if only to arrive at the conclusion

that on blue days in such surroundings,

there is solace in the melting rivulets that

trickle to the horizon,

and the silence that

makes even our hearts attend.

--c. 2012, Martin A. Bartels (working draft)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Imagining Our Lives As a Jackson Pollock Painting

Looking back at us looking ahead, there was of course
no way to have predicted the pages we would turn and the

chaotic ways our particular dysfunctions would collide.
On the one hand, we say now, Look at the mess we’ve made of things,

the jumbled, tumbled detritus of everything we once called
hopes and dreams, this angry clutter and the
broken things we never bothered to repair.
Who could blame us for blaming one another,

noting in some detail the one thousand and fifty
transgressions dating back to 1996—an altogether remarkable

feat for two with otherwise unimpressive memories—
for thinking we might as well just start over, apart,

because you only have so many chances to get it right
and this most certainly is not. Then, I look at our little girls

sleeping, the way their eyes open and light up when they
look at the us that we now portray, and see there is no

lie in their hope for us, no judgment of our impenetrable
facades, that the fabric of our peculiar DNA is

woven less like burlap and more like a canvas, upon which
is the ghost of the painting that we might yet become.

--Martin A. Bartels, c2012, working draft