If the universe is artist all poetry is ekphrastic

The only condition is your being there and being watchful
of sunset brushed onto evening sky,
ancient oaks sculpted into forest,
elegant swoop of starlings murmuring.
When mindless march
to quarterly profit falters
and deception’s veil falls away
and you finally notice
radiance dance
behind frightened eyes,
hear jagged scars
narrate vulnerable tales,
and know desperate longings
revealed in awkward pauses
and you realize there is nothing
that is not art
and beautiful
and that you are art
and beautiful
and you can do nothing
but sit slack-jawed in awe,
that is enough.

And if you can somehow
animate tongue and lips
to translate wonder
into verse that kindles
the heart of another
then proclaim yourself: poet.


Note: The first line of this poem (italicized above) is the final line of the poem “Being Watchful” by Wendall Berry.

©2023 Kenneth W. Arthur