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Two Poems
Horses and Blue Eagle: The Kingdoms

Blue eagle has learned
to look past
emerging green light
and the north wind’s rancor.
In his black eyes
trees rot without music,
and water infuses
droplets of flame.
Ambassador of patience,
he is a blind architect
who measure pyramids
with rays of silk
and unvarnished light.

Before the red sun
he flies like memory
impatient to be unmade,
the same sun
holding back the agony
of its wings.
The burnt unforgiving,
waxed wind.

Come. Before the red you accept
the green, the way rain dreams
of a passionless return to cloud.
The same way a gnat ignores
the statistics of its inevitable death.

To the yellow horse
there is no where here,
no flower bruited
in corpulent flame,
no life rippling
if not unharnessed.

The wind circumnavigates
its mazed grief. But a grief
left alone, unministered, turns its back
and looks with half-closed eyes
at the fractured field, the broken
light, at the nameless
but numbered dead.
It listens to the deaf river
and mumbles its damp
rosary of prayers.

For the bay horse
the world waits.
It knows it can outlast
the messengers of silence.
It also knows dusk
is another reason to doubt God,
and twilight is the smallest god
of unasked favors who rarely listens
even when the light is right.
What moon best
caresses the thickening air?

Dawn enters suspiciously,
uncertain, falling outside
a new plane of light. It accepts
frozen cries, the silenced memory
of rain become earth,
rain become wind, and kneels
on the rice of hope,
pain washing over
the aborted flight within.


Missing Art as Dark Matter

No geography is older
than the wind declares,
the sea imagines or the earth
blindly acknowledges.
No pear grown in a bottle
rivals this riddle. An imagined death
is still a death. A grief postponed
will make a nest in the heart.
Mystery always manages mischief
(or so we are led to believe).

And so one day blue light will reveal
the harbored, unseen framed edges
and then streak across the gilded border
the event horizon that awakens
the prismatic eye.

Because it was stolen,
because it was burnt, or labeled
degenerate, because the wilderness
accepted it as one of its own,
because the mystery shines in relief
the image remains the thought unseen
the world erasing history.

Heirs will someday tire
of their dragon hoard
shrouded with thinning sheets
on walls without paint or light
and rooms without eyes,
and release you into the sun’s
delirious light. Dark closets will open
and memory will lose its hold
on what was stolen or found
and held against its will.
The stars will sing acapella
in the cold moonlight
as it shoulders past to queue
at the opened gates.
Dreams will separate
into equal parts:
restoration and hope
without provenance,
without the universe
pretending it cares
that two cats on wood
missing, AWOL since 1912
have reappeared, and are loudly
protesting the closed backdoor.
Surely enough time has passed
to forgive their loud sins
and many indiscretions
and welcome the 100th generation home.

These poems are from a book-length series based in part on the art, writing, correspondence, and life of the German Expressionist painter Franz Marc (1880–1916). More particularly, they focus on his life and art between the years 1912 and 1916. Marc died near Verdun, France on March 4, 1916.

Richard Weaver’s publications include 2River View, Black Warrior Review, Crazy Horse, New England Review, North American Review, Poetry, and Vanderbilt Poetry Review; poems are forthcoming in the Southern Quarterly Review. He resides in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.