James B. Nicola, Painters of the Sky

James B. Nicola
PAINTERS OF THE SKY

– For A. T. the director and A. T. the protagonist on the premiere of their first film, “Painters of the Sky”.

Wanting to give all you had
Needing to offer all you were
You gave all you could
With abandon
And joy
Under-appreciated

When you found
At the post-pubescent miscarriage
That All wasn’t Enough

You wanted it back
Needed it back
And took it back
All
Almost

And have lived ever since
Half-way
Having to convince yourself
Of values
Of no value
To you

* * *

But somewhere within
Where you are You
The star whence
Your greater elements have dropped
Was yearning for even the minerals of nutrition
—Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium—
Not to mention the very Nitrogen and Oxygen of breath

To twinkle
Shine
And brighten forever
The loving, giving, living
Firmament
That’s wider than the Milky Way
Yet contained
Unrevealed
Inside the merest all of
Who you were
Who you’ve become
Who you are

* * *

And who you now will be.

O, what tragedy
What trauma
What threatening cancer

Mobilized
Your Stardust
Into Action

Released
The Floodgate of your
Juices-dyed river

And Makes your Fingers itch
Your Mornings ache
Your every Word issue forth as

Unstoppable
Improvised
Melodies
Of angels?

* * *

Thank the gods and doctors
For your triumph
But thank yourself for your restored
Pre-adolescent
Sense of Purpose
That knows no purpose

But that reckless, unstable non-sense
Ignorant to
Or unmoved by
The lauded or lucrative

That has filled
You
Once more
With unbridled
Daft
Creation

And the togetherness
Of heart
And hearts

Well before the hours have dwindled
To their last
Trickling
Grains.

Author’s Comment: I was privileged to compose and perform the score for the independent film “Painters of the Sky” about an art teacher finding her creative compass as an artist. The writer/director is Alan Tongret, alluded to in the poem’s dedication.

Bio: Widely published on both sides of the Atlantic, James B. Nicola has several poetry awards and nominations to his credit. His nonfiction book Playing the Audience won a Choice award. His first full-length poetry collection, Manhattan Plaza, has just been released. More at sites.google.com/site/jamesbnicola.


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