Blind-man’s-buff (poem)

 

Group of Figures (Study for "Un dimanche à la Grande Jatte")

The sun trapped in my half-sealed eyelids, I
could not peek if I tried – the blindfold’s tight.
No need to, though – I can identify
you anytime, old friend, both day and night.

No matter where I go I’d recognize
the bitter-sweet of clover on the tongue,
the cool caress of wind, I don’t need eyes
to see you as you were, when we were young.

I hear the stillness of the hot high-noon,
and smell the earth stirred by the garden rake,
I feel the rain with all my cells, and soon
I know you, friend, I do, make no mistake.

You are my dream, my childhood, my July,
I carry with me, though I’ve left, you stay
forever in that place where you and I –
that magic place –
where blind-man’s-buff we play.

 

© 2014 Sasha A. Palmer

Image: Georges Seurat. Group of Figures (Study for “Un dimanche à la Grande Jatte”), 1884–1885. Oil on panel, Overall: 6 1/16 x 9 3/4 in. (15.4 x 24.8 cm). BF2506. Public Domain.

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“Youth must be English…” (poem)

Woman in Red Blouse with Tulips

Youth must be English, for she leaves without goodbyes
You turn around and suddenly you realize
That she is gone, and she has taken summers with her
And autumn weather settles in
Where youth has been

You’re left dumbfounded, in a trance for quite a while
You wear a boyishly defiant little smile
As in the middle of July the leaves are falling
You keep refusing to believe
That she would leave

And even when you know it’s true you hope some day
Some full of summer, irresistible sun day
The day of handless clocks that keep what once was ours
The lazy hours that slowly burn
She will return

 

© 2014 Sasha A. Palmer

Image: William James Glackens. Woman in Red Blouse with Tulips, c. 1913–1914. Oil on canvas, Overall: 30 1/8 x 25 in. (76.5 x 63.5 cm). BF160. Public Domain. ©2019 Estate of William James Glackens.

“Let’s dance, it does not matter who will lead” (poem)

Flowers

Let’s dance, it does not matter who will lead.
Our song is playing, darling, let us follow
the path to summer, move our feet, no need
to worry ‘bout the steps.  Come, let us wallow
in expectations of that mid-July,
forget the wintry weather, you and I
we’ll dance away the blues. Come, hear the beat,
allow your heart to skip it once again,
indulge in days of sultry high-noon heat,
come, spin the earth until it spills the rain,
drops reasoning, and falls for happenstance…
Let’s do the same, let’s follow, let us dance.

© 2014 Sasha A. Palmer

Image: William James Glackens. Flowers, c. 1915–1916. Oil on canvas, Overall: 12 5/8 x 9 3/4 in. (32.1 x 24.8 cm). BF594. Public Domain.

“beyond the white cloud, atop the green hill…” (poem)

Boy and girl on a bench, Nino's art

We knew from the start
that the game wasn’t fair,
yet we played anyway,
pretending that childhood
would always be there,
just a bike ride away.

But where is it now?
It’s over,
over the fields of clover,
beyond the white cloud,
atop the green hill…
It is there still.

It lives in that place—
non-existent, abiding—
where it’s always July,
where cross the lush summers
two bikers are riding,
just two kids: you and I.

 

© 2014 Sasha A. Palmer

Image: © 2017 Nino Chakvetadze, reproduced with permission.

Happy July, kids, and happy 4th, America!