Ekphrastic Acrylics

“Ocean Beach” by Amelia Cooney, Acrylic Pour

Nonestic Meets the Nothing
by C. S. E. Cooney
for Amelia L. Cooney

there, where the waters of oz
run sun-rich with silt
where those old waters run
yellow-brick-yellow
powdered by paths pummeled by tornados
there, where gold-dust mingles with
bitter tears of dispossessed gargoyles
with silver sequins, and sad apples, and lonely-for-homeness
there, where come the waters, the waters of the river mouth
hard up against the nonestic sea
there, oh!
a terrible sea, that nothing sea
like a storm swept in
from the neverending story

“Sunset River,” by Joel Cooney, Acrylic Pour

Parochial Playground
by C. S. E. Cooney
for Joel Cooney

light as a feather, stiff as a board
light as a feather, stiff as a board
bright as a peacock, cold and hard
bright as a peacock, cold and hard

shove a shiv in the river
let its guts run down
shove a shiv in the river
let its guts run down

set a fire to the river
let the wyrms crawl ’round
set a fire to the river
let the wyrms crawl ’round

you are a
limnologist, standing at the edge
of a river
standing at that place where sunset meets
water, where land meets
lava, you are balancing
barefoot
in the riparian zone, between
the green leaves of
home and
a channel of molten potential

eyes open, all-radiant
you

JUMP!

The first poem comes out of that bright, bold yellow in Amelia’s painting. I immediately thought of it as “Oz Yellow”–like the yellow brick road. The similarities between her roiling blue ocean and “The Nothing” in the Neverending Story struck me, and for the first time, I thought of those two childhood books (and films) together. Today I learned that the ocean of Oz was called “the Nonestic Ocean” which means “the non-existing ocean.” And that made me think of “The Nothing” as well.

The second poem “Parochial Playground” came out of a memory of that old schoolyard game we used to play: “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board.” It begins by a circle of children lifting a single supine child in their midst all together, each child using only their index and middle fingers to raise her. It ends with that child–her eyes closed–being led to and placed upon a cement curb stop, told she is on the Empire State Building, and then… pushed off. The fall is not long. And it is forever.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

One response to “Ekphrastic Acrylics

  1. Lovely, lovely, lovely. The *colours* in the first poem.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s