ekphrasis vi: landscape with memory

(crayons on cartridge paper: 2005)

a white pigeon flutters towards the margin
of the page—as if escaping a house on fire.
the roof of the house by the stream

could be burning, but how could you be so sure
if the same red crayon that coloured love
pigmented fire? it is autumn,

and the trees have lost their chlorophyll.

from the pigeon’s blue eyes, the stream
is flowing backwards. from where i stand,
it is flowing forward. there are no wrong
or right answers in this memory

–scape forming a thicket in our eyes.

this butterfly effect—a ripple of yellow
litterfall that sails me downwards

to where a barbie doll sits in what looks
like a small field of red roses

or a puddle of blood. and who could tell
the difference? the doll—so still
—sits in the middle of the shade
without telling who left her there,

and why. if the house by the stream
with the red roof is a proof for danger

or just an abode full of love—if

the white pigeon is a self-portrait
of the artist whitened by tears
or a portrait of God—

What are you looking for?