Sunday, February 27, 2022

The Artist

As the world burns, I feel that this week calls for something uplifting, yet tinged with mournfulness. I found this poem that I wrote some years ago about an artist in the Arizona desert facing his last days. I had almost forgotten about it. It seems fitting somehow. 

Hold tight and keep looking for the humanity in each person. 


The Artist

Near blind

from years of letting in the sky,

deaf from the coyote songs

that score the naked desert--

my last act: to lift

a wizened brush and draft

the horizon of my crossing.

The gods will ask me

did I do right by what resides

in all the lavish desert—for the lizard's eyesight,

for Coyote

who dissolves into the bush?

For the disgraced

night sky, mottled with a light that isn't hers.

And I will say, it wasn't love as I have known it.

Instead it was a falling in.

A disability of love.

I could do nothing

but paint the nothing I became.

Tell the ones who come

to leave my body.

Let it fall to scavengers.

My eyes

have taught me

that God

is generous:

those, leave open

so they might offer


back to sky.

I will be savage with peace.

--Kristen McHenry




2 comments: said...

Another brilliant poem, Kristen! :--)

Anonymous said...

If you're an artist N you speak naughty
wurdz, don't you think you should do
what God commands thro this?? I do.
☆ ☆