Friday, December 9, 2016

Jack Scott writes


The hospital appears to be
at the edge of century;
though it’s had its share of time
it’s sounder than it seems
to eye of first time visitor.
It’s time for it to don
before the coming winter
another coat of “Old Oyster White.”
Looks like oyster, smells like paint
thinned out with turpentine
redolent of wind bent pine,
another local flavor.
The trim: “Sea Bottom Black”,
another merchandising whim,
delineates the woodwork trim,
and that’s the black and white of it.
Not too cold to paint outside
if the paint can dry in time.

Seashell walks and lobsterpots, 
kelp, some flotsam and some jetsam,
compete with trees and shrubbery
to set the stage for tourists,
consistent with the rest of town
presenting what it always was
along with what it is:
props set for the tourists
to show them what they want to see
and put them in the mood for buying it:
memento, knick knack, souvenir,
to make them want to take it home
as treasure to be hidden in plain sight
upon a dusty shelf
or buried in a treasure chest,
with no hope of future treasure hunt.

Half disrobed for the season
so intimate in detail
across the crystal space
the far shores seem so near today -
magnified, precise, pristine -
that they could rest
in one’s opened hand
compelling one to see
what one had seen before
merely looking toward instead of at.
the gently ruffled water lies in rows,
as if blue plowed liquid field,
or ornate ceiling of lobsterland
above a floor, imagined
seabottom black.

On her porch the doctor rose.
Crossing to its railing
she realized an edge of cliff,
a shock she quickly backed away from
because the vision was too sharp,
the sense of death too raw,
the danger more immediate
than her inner pain,
a conflict too tempting
to be reconciled today.
Procrastination was an easier abstraction,
lying beneath her lowered lids, and inward.
Even so, what she sees
is less than what she feels
yet startlingly more evident
than what lies beneath her lowered lids,
inward and behind them,
her web of accumulated thought.
The Winter of her life is coming on;
this respite is her late Fall.
She’d always wondered
how she’d weather this
when her time would come.
She thought that she’d choose clarity,
as the way she’d want to see,
one eye on the detail,
the other on the larger scope,
but found that pain distorts all vision,
narrowing and blurring it,
so she gave in
and writes herself prescriptions.

1 comment:

  1. Milk paint is a nontoxic water-based paint made from milk and lime, generally with pigments added for color. Sometimes borax is added as a preservative and to help the lime dissolve the casein (from "caseus," the Latin word for cheese), the phosphoproteins in milk. Milk paint has been used for thousands of years and is extremely durable, often lasting for centuries if protected from the elements. As a powder it may last for six months or more if sealed tightly against moisture, but if it becomes wet it will dry as a loose powder and lose its functionality as paint. Once mixed, it must be used within a day or a little longer if refrigerated. The Old Fasioned Milk Paint Company markets a shade called "Oyster White."


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