Ernst’s ample pagan horns
Transumute sunlight into blocks of lead
Pierce the pure cobalt horizon
With dread, forbidden longing.
On the rooftops of Paris
Larger than life,
That’s how the grafitti writers
Bold and beautiful
Perhaps making urban skylines
They creep into the lives
of contemporary Monmartre artists
Into Pompidou skies.
They teach the scratching lines of Picasso
To curl into swathes of purple
With no attempt
To touch the outlines with the paint
Or fill the spaces between.
Jump into the canvass
Berate all with cries of “we’re not human yet!”
To just become
Automatons of motion.
Kandinsky’s thin ink outlines
Hold in the bodies of dancing
Keep their glowing thin skins
From showering abstractions
Into the turning Saint-Phalle metallics
Of Pompidou’s infinity pools below.
A mess of Matta’s technical cartoons
Are blown into part life
By explosions of red depth and shaded light
By the breath of an eternal lovers’ night
Burnt into my mind
On a stretched out, landscape canvass
Whose vastness shines and shines
To the sounds of Picabia’s mastery of mechanics
That flatten colours and break time
I yearn to find corners to hide in
Fall down the curves
Unpick the jigsaw designs
Watch the pieces of his thought unwind.
This is a poem based upon reactions to works by Matta, Picasso, Erns, Braque and Picabia at the Pompidou Centre, Paris. The version Pompidou Skylines can be found in my collection Dervish Days, available for the Kindle at Amazon.