“Nobody ever said to van Gogh, ‘Paint The Starry Night again, man’,” — Joni Mitchell
They appear like apparitions
that my pen races to convert
before they are gone.
I learned very early to carry a little book
to honor their swift flight.
When I first became aware of them,
I gathered them in booklets
to hand out to my angst-filled
teenaged friends. For a certain period,
I sang them. And songs are requested
much more often than poems or paintings.
I’ve never asked where they come from.
I just reach out
and pen them, a living herd corralled.
Who would expect to see a unicorn
with an owl, a buffalo and a panther
all together, pacing, flapping,
rustling for your attention?
I keep them like a box of costumes
for my grandchildren.
Try on any of them,
let yourself be transformed.
I’ll play along.