Friday, November 21, 2014

Poem of the Week: Karen Skolfield

Art Project: Earth

Balloon, then papier mâché.
Gray paint, blue and turquoise, green,
a clouded world with fishing line attached
to an old light, original to the house, faux brass
chipping, discolored, an ugly thing. What must
the people of this planet think, the ground
knobby and dry, the oceans blue powder,
the farmland stiff and carefully maintained.
Sometimes they spin one direction,
then back again. How the coyotes howl.
How the people learn to love, regardless.
The majesty of their own towering hearts.
The mountains, which they agree are beautiful.
And the turquoise – never has there been
such a color, breaking into precious
and semi-precious stones. They build houses
from them, grand places of worship,
and there is much to worship. Look up,
for instance. Six suns. The wonder of it.
First one, then the next, eclipsing
the possibility that their world hangs by a thread.

Used with permission.
Karen Skolfield’s book Frost in the Low Areas won the 2014 PEN New England Award in poetry and the First Book Award from Zone 3 Press. She is a 2014 Massachusetts Cultural Council fellow and the winner of the 2014 Split This Rock poetry prize. Skolfield is the poetry editor for Amherst Live and an associate editor at Sundress Publications; she teaches writing to engineers at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst, where she earned her Master of Fine Arts.
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