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Still Life Poem


Still Life and Others
By Laurence Overmire

Still Life

The masters all painted
Baskets of fruit
What is it about fruit
That demanded such passionate expression?
Was there a lucrative market of fruit lovers to exploit?

Fruit doesn't bake my cake if you know what I mean.
Naked babes in the grass
I can understand
But apples on a dish?
What is it they're trying to say?
Do they tempt us like Eve
"Buy the apple painting, Maude, big, delicious, juicy, red apples on a
porcelain white dish. Buy it, buy it, buy"
Whisper the artist's serpent strokes.

Or maybe
'Twas some deep psychological need
That compelled the depiction of
There they sit
In a bowl, or basket or dish.
The artist as pear.
Brimming life
Contained within--
A precious seed

The Angel and The Devil

The angel and the devil
Were married in his heart
They slept together and made
Impossible children
Good-natured bastards, villainous saints
And with a kiss and a smile
He'd slip a knife in your back
Tending to your wounds
With a smirk in his eye
And though you loved him like a brother
You had to let him go
The thin rope slipping from your fingers
The quicksand of his nature
Swallowing the last hope
Of something more.

Some Old Guy Named Keats

Some old guy named Keats keeps singing in my ear
Lilting melodies of long lost lore
While Byron and Shelley croon their bitter, sweet harmonies of love
Rappin' on my shotgun sensibilities
Modern improprieties shod with lust and gore and bloody insatiable war
Hard-assed verbiage too rank
To hold a purity that harkens
To a simpler time
A simpler place
A simpler way
Of being.
But don't let me go, boys
The tuning in and out of syncopated time
Spans eons of dreaming nights
Till a new heart burns with the hearing
Of an ancient voice
In an ever-ripening world.

Bards in Arms

Poetry is the last bastion of free speech
The people's pure unfettered voice
We shall defend it at all costs
Against the numbing multitudes
The clamoring adversaries of the free word
The dull-witted patsies, posturing poseurs and
Picky pedants who would
Clamp our verse in chains
Make us conform
To rules and pleasantries and ways of being
Morbidly conventional
In strict accordance with the finite aspects of their minds.
No! Our cause is just.
Ten-Hut! You battle-tested troubadours!
Present arms!
And hearts and souls!
We! Shall! Prevail!

Optical Illusions
We wrap mythologies around our brains
Magicians' blindfolds
To trick our eyes into a certain way of seeing.
They shape and limit our trespass upon this earth
Hurtling us into conflicts of our own magnificent ill design.
Our petty grievances languish in the bowels of succeeding generations
Laying waste to the promise of an innocent child.
Only the final blunt thrust of Death's indifferent sword
Cuts through the Gordian Knot of lies
And stops our foolish hearts
From beating.

Laurence Overmire is an actor/director who has worked on both coasts and in between, on stage, film and television. His poetry has been or will be published in "Kimera," "The Penwood Review," "Nuthouse," "Lynx Eye," "Emotions," "Angelflesh," "Maelstrom," "The Laire," "Uprising," "Office Number One," "Superior Poetry News," "Main Street Rag Poetry Journal," "Children, Churches and Daddies," "Short North Gazette," "Improvijazzation Nation," "The Writer's Exchange," "Over the Back Fence Magazine," "Niederngasse," "Apples and Oranges," "Pegasus," "Blind Man's Rainbow," "L'Intrigue," "Wings," "Footprints," "ZZZ Zyne," "CER*BER*US," "Mobius" and others.

Art Image by
David Michael Jackson

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