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Art was a major inspiration to Shelia. This poem weaves together images from Picasso's work to create both atmosphere and message.

This poem was written 25 years before 9/11. Shelia died on that day.

From the Blue Period that Lasts

Leaving the child at the window ledge
crow flies over the rooftops of Barcelona.

The blind guitar player, hunched
in the doorway, plucks blue strings
with the lifeless precision
of one who has played too long without hope.

A second blind man leans on a boy
blue with burden. A third gropes for bread.
one-eyed Celestina peers from her blue hood
and whispers:
Only the crow can leave.
Stars are numbered.
hairs counted.
But only the crow can leave.
Mothers turn from children
Fathers step woodenly into failure
But only the crow can leave.

And one-eyed Celestina whines:
Better not to see that blackbird
going past blue chimneys into the night.

Only the crow can.
Only the crow.

Dream Bones # 3

a voice comes tunneling
between the skyscrapers, and men
hunt down corners
to hide in, hoping the sound
is some new alert and not the last

children in the park drop
their toys and, looking up,

leaves uncurl their ears
in wonder, making cover
for the terror-stricken

no four horsemen of the apocalypse
no fire, no sword, no cracking
of the earth
just a voice tunneling between
the skyscrapers, a wind moan
amplified, asking


dance me a new day
with stones washed clean from side to side
bathed by light's caressing hand
dance me a fresh-scrubbed door
to open out and welcome the sun

dance me a daisy chain
slight fingers weaving from stem to stem
light fingers on toe points
touching the petals
that soak up the sun

dance me a sun dance
bright feet leaping from beam to beam
restless shoes that sing their motion
dance me a mountain
beneath the sun

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