How He Took Up Painting
He was out on the avenue
hesitating before scenery, absorbing
its easiest pieces, sidewalk buckles,
gate styles of fences, shy barking dogs
circling him in play instead of pause.
Because the bus he was aiming to board was frequent
he moved toward a meadow in a neighborhood
emptied of traffic. There at its edge
he bent, as if shaping himself
to some seclusion a passerby would misinterpret.
The flowers around him in vigorous bloom,
the wooden fence on his side of the meadow,
a braver dog a block behind him
helped him outline the old obscurity,
assisted his aim at the first plush of color
toward the center of calm.
In a deeper sleep
his arm never rested under a cover.
His fist never punched the pillow
in a knowable nightmare.
By morning his fingers found
what the next day his mind grasped.
The brush is his as it dips and dips
touching on blue tips as it pauses
as he had, bending into intended solace.
R. S. Stewart is a native of Oregon where he still lives and writes plays as well as poems. His poetry has been published in many journals, including Canary; 2 Bridges Review; Poetry Salzburg Review; The Journal (UK); PIF Magazine; Serving House Journal; Ink, Sweat, & Tears (UK); Brittle Star (UK); and BlazeVOX.