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It’s like seeing an old friend again
more so – the intimacy of a well-worn lover
knowing every crack, every tear
every line, every movement
the rhythm of the strokes
the delicate nature of the colours
coming into each other here, blending there
a oneness, center stage, and an easing out around the edges
I know these two, in this room
My favorite lovers of them all
Opposite in their moods, reflective of my own personality.

The one
a moonlight sonata along a rocky beach
the moon, not a harsh mistress here, but loving
The clouds breaking away for her to shine her light on the semi-still waters below.
It’s a warm night, a summer-spring day
or an Indian summer fall. The storm has passed
this is the lull, before the next one blows in.
I can imagine playing there, in the moonlight
Big white fluffy clouds illuminated by Her full light
The sand is warm and soft underneath my feet
My real lover sits on the rocks, just out of view, laughing
delighted by my childish play
He waits for me to exert myself so he can gather me up in his arms again
cover me with kisses
before finally laying me down on the cool, soft sand
making love to me again underneath the Moon’s hypnotic glow.

My other lover
resides catty-corner
A stark contrast in palette
The sunrise, sunset to my moonlight sonata,
An Italian villa, Florence, a romantic time ago
when masquerade balls meant a Romeo’s kiss
a Viennese waltz on lacquered marble floors
hand to hand, palm to palm, do lips meet and hands kiss – in touch
Intricate, beautiful sharp lines and details like a map from long ago
You could place me there, anywhere, and I would know my way
through his cobblestone streets
past storefront windows selling ladies bonnets and gloves.
Smoke rises from chimneys, rugs hang lazily out open windows
This sleepy little town may just be awakening
or else it’s suppertime and mama and papa are pouring wine and saying prayer
Such soft colors, a different sort of gentleness
It glows soft and warm, a fine early summers’ eve
We sit on the wall, overlooking the city
listening to the old sheepherder’s tales
My lovers’ hand creeps up my long summer gown
and boldly touches my knee while his lips kiss the slope of my shoulder
He promises me Heaven and unending preludes
I dream, I let him dream, we dream together
this place ours, our villa.

Night and day
The quiet solitude of nature’s waves
the hum of the gentle busyness in the old world village
I know them both, my old friends, my old loves
Visual representations of my own internal dichotomy
Both beautiful, powerful
another world
another time
a different dream

You will find me there
some days
gazing longingly at my lovers
on the wall

Author’s Note:

Ekphrastic: The ekphrastic poem is inspired by a work of art.

This poem was written about 2 particular works of art, located in the Cleveland Museum of Art, that have hung together in the same room for years, opposite each other.

Lover 1 Reference
Title: Point Judith, Rhode Island, 1867-1868
Artist: Martin Johnson Heade (American, 1819-1904)
View the painting: www.clevelandart.org/art/1970.161

Lover 2 Reference
Title: View of Florence, 1837
Artist: Thomas Cole (American, 1801-1848)
View the painting: www.clevelandart.org/art/1961.39

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