Posts Tagged ‘space’

In Captivity

June 12, 2017


by Vera Lisa Smetzer


Yesterday you were lucid, lithium
working, then at midnight, the walls

closed into so small a space,
you screamed until they gagged you,

tied you to the bed and now,
you rock, unbound, smile up at me,

point to your crayon drawings
taped to the pale beige walls.

Birds. “Large enough to ride on,”
you whisper and reach for my hand.

Over the speakers we hear Bach’s Prelude,
then Fugue in C. You keep pacing

measured steps from bed to bureau,
creating space with sweeping strokes

of a fat blue Crayola. You map your
flight, flap your arms, as you

find your voice, you hum,
then call as birds do after the storm.


Copyright © 2017 by Alvera Lisa Smetzer

Sky above Land's End, Maine - photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer

Sky above Land’s End, Maine – photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer

Pure Space

June 5, 2017


by Vera Lisa Smetzer


Ruins of an old brick building, no roof, sky
falling on the ground and sunflowers growing
tall like odd gods of the abandoned.
No window panes, only arched spaces opening
to the air like hungry mouths of children.
I click the shutter on sunlight and shadow

until I dream this space, expose
images inside the bricks as I wash prints
in the kitchen sink. A pigeon is caught
flying towards the light in one photograph.
Paul asks, What will you do with these?”
“Look,” I say, “how the light slants against

the brick. This one, the bird’s nest
perched on a rusty rain pipe, white chalk
droppings stain the bricks.” He shakes his head
and looks at the photographs again.
I cannot teach him this perfection
of pure space skimming through arched windows.

I kneel to capture sunlight streaming through
a low break in the bricks. I forget
the smell of week-old garbage in the next alley.
I smell the earth holding fragile shoots of grass.
I turn and behind me a second story window
frames the building behind it and shadows

hang like pictures. I could set a table
and chair in the middle of this lot. Sit
and listen to the birds, plant basil
to keep flies away. Develop prints
in a tray of rainwater. I could live here
and call it home.


Copyright © 2017 by Alvera Lisa Smetzer

Arched Space, photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer

“Arched Space,” photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer

Urban Ruins in Wichita, Kansas, photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer

Urban Ruins in Wichita, Kansas, photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer

Pure Again

May 21, 2017


When I rose above the clouds,
I was in the sky.
Rain and dark below me,
a million stars around me and above.

Young Moon smiled over the rim of earth,
joy reflected from a hidden sun.
I was moving above the dark,
but my eyes filled with lights.

Stars torched the blackness with colors,
brightest white to deepest red.
Cold and clear was the air
and thin to breathe.

I was self-sufficient and alone,
and pure again,
with space and time to travel,
tiny and dark,
but moving out among the stars.


Copyright © 2017 by Michael B. Smetzer