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  • Trish MacEnulty

January 2017 Nightmare: Poem inspired by two paintings at the Mint Museum


Hollowed men and women

traversing an orange landscape

confused where?

afraid did we?

searching go wrong?

the boasters, the braggarts, the blind

roared, raised fists,

summoned the monster

now the brown ones, the yellow ones,

the gay ones, the white witches,

the kind men, the brainy ones,

the crones all tremble and wail,

under the noxious clouds

as the hollowed ones build walls,

plunder banks,

ravish our earth with black blood

foaming from their mouths

and then there are

the ones who said nothing

who silently drove past

the churches and schools

who did not pull the lever

push the button, speak,

say, no, this is not what we want

Turn quickly, see the other dream

fleeting on the horizon

an explosion of petals

a rainbow of voices

Not without stain, not without shadows

corners where gremlins huddle

but the bright, the promise, the light

draws the eyes upward and the soul

flies on kite wings

Wake up. wake up. wake up.

(Paintings: "Hollow Men" by Robert Motherwell and "Phenomena Turn of the Tide" by Paul Jenkins)


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