On Water

The snake on water
most beautifully awaits
the girl, the pond with all its lilies
all it's lotus-fringed lashes

The snake on water, your love
most tenderly escapes
the den with all its pockets
all its brief, smitten ruminations

A gasp, the tinkling bell, the chime
of a mouth opened slightly (exhaling love).

It's your pink ribbon tied round his finger
as the snake makes its way towards the earth.

Into, out of, in again
this swimmer strokes
above, under, in the midst
this swimmer glistens.

And earthquake, and the snake knows

where to hide and peek his hood
until you, the girl, could cry.
Candice Rice

Watch the horsehair hover -- florid tip caught
between the horned god dancing in her mind
and the blank gesso of significance.

Her palette -- burnt sienna, raw umber,
lamp black freshly spattered with cinnabar --
a Fauvist crime scene on the backs of her hands.

Her stained fingers pinch her twisted pink scowl,
"Where should the bristles dance?"

                                A glacial pause.

Look over your shoulder... no guard to hiss,
"Do not touch the artwork!"

                        You want to reach
out like Michelangelo's God, and twine
fingers. So, touch! Feel the coarse, dry paint
crack and flake from the warm, scarred canvas.

Go on! You know in the dry chalk of your bones
that there were once two people in a cave,
in what would someday be Lascaux, sharing
this same moment under the stony
gaze of a swaggering rust colored bull.
Brian Collier