Not much is known about MARCUS BALES, except that he lives and works in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, and his work has not appeared in Poetry or The New Yorker. His latest book is 51 Poems; reviews and information at http://tinyurl.com/jo8ek3r
Here I am at last amid these stones
Watching as some hippie tries and fails
To hear the English tones or semi-tones
From rocks once hauled a hundred miles from Wales;
Spiritually, I feel out-gunned
By others dancing barefoot, walking shod,
Or simply standing staring upward, stunned,
Imagining they feel some local god.
I still myself and reach both out and in
To feel the feelings they appear to feel.
The scent of grass, the light air on my skin,
But nothing seems to stretch beyond the real
From here and now to back to well before
The Saxons, Celts, or Normans came ashore.
In 1815 Joshua Bales, as well-known
As any artist’s model, was a handsome man.
Double-jointed, slim, with muscle-tone
That artists loved to paint, he soon began
His trips to France, where many more could see
His nimble poses, not least of which was on
“The Raft of the Medusa”, which won the Prix
D’Or in the 1819 Paris Salon.
Earlier, to earn his work permit,
He’d posed for the same artist in a glass
Container even he could barely fit
Inside – a painting lost to time, alas,
So family lore’s the only way we know
That Joshua fit the bottle of Gericault.
South from Starcross lies the Cockwood Sod,
The bay along to Dawlish Warren known
For sandy beaches. We’d walk past Cockwood’s squad
Of older houses built of rubble stone
Against the marsh beneath the Cofton Hill
On which we’d picnic from the hamper you
Prepared and I would carry. The path is still
A lovely walk alone. I’m making do.
The poet says that we will all live on
So long as we’re remembered. I recall
You every day, the summer’s fruiting antiphon
Of joyousness to winter’s coming pall.
As you implored, I try to laugh and sing,
But I cannot imagine any spring.
Not much is known about MARCUS BALES, except he lives and works in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, and his work has not appeared in Poetry or The New Yorker. His latest book is 51 Poems; reviews and information at http://tinyurl.com/jo8ek3r