Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Painted Glass

From darkness we peer into light,
Painted glass confounds our sight.
Reality is tissue-thin
Figures faintly colored in
On painted glass.

Picture in a picture frame
Portrait, subject both the same
Magic lantern, candle flame
All painted glass.

A scarlet gem, my troubled heart
Is it artifice or art?
Study each still-beating part,
It's painted glass.

This brimming cup from which I drink
The things I do, the things I think
(The steel-edged pen. The bloody ink.)
My home, my life, the kitchen sink
...Painted glass?

Life is ugly. Life's unfair.
--What's that in the mirror there
Returning you a wide-eyed stare?
Just painted glass.

Now hear the sound of shattering
Earth and water battering
Ruin come down clattering
Shards of painted glass.

You do not know the day or hour,
You know that it will come to pass.
Fame and fortune, love and power
Are only painted glass.

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