This collaboration between 2 friends continues below … first Karen’s poem response to the image I gave her, followed by her image and my poem response.
Act 3 — So here’s the photo I gave poet & artist Karen Dennison (click on the burning barn to enlarge the image – it’s a photo either me or my mom took in 1978) —
And here’s Karen’s poem in response:
He piled up her letters to him,
together with photographs, favourite novels,
diaries he’d penned, poured on lighter fluid.
How she and he melted in Rome and Paris,
fluttered like moths into the night, flames twisting
into ghosts, exorcised as smoke;
words re-written as ash,
while the crackling edifice collapsed.
Years later, loss hits him like sunlight
through magnifying glass
onto the crumpled sheets of paper
where he’s written his heart.
What he would give to go back,
unstrike the match, save one photo,
frame the face he can no longer picture.
— — —
This is the image Karen gave me (one of her own photos); click on the shadow to enlarge it —
And here’s my poem that I wrote in response —
Scene Noir – The Protector
The shadow by my elbow
says, Never mind. A gun hides
under wrapping paper.
It’s up to me to use,
all the other party goers.
They have no clue.
I grip the thing, contemplate
its heaviness; hide
it behind, in the waistband
of my jeans like the FBI
agents do on Netflix.
Resigned that the plot calls
for this protagonist
to shoot her mouth off, roaring
— Let’s be done with it!
Note from Elly: Yup, my poem was a dream I had… watching too many lawyer shows…