"When the flush of a new-born sun fell first on Eden's green and gold,
Our father Adam sat under the Tree and scratched with a stick in the mould;
And the first rude sketch that the world had seen was joy to his mighty heart,
Till the Devil whispered behind the leaves, "It's pretty, but is it Art?"
from Rudyard Kipling's The Conundrum of the Workshops
Poetry: Poems by Claire
My homeland bears a shroud of turquoise now
and trees are crimson rock that crack the sky;
coal splinters rain on every leafless bough
their jagged scratchings screech and prophesy.
The ocean bubbles liquid amber glass
and gilded swells hot-smelt the frosted shore.
No savage swims beneath the boiling mass,
no creature flies above its feral roar.
A single beast attends my ruined throne;
it shrieks and wails, a keen for absent prey.
Thin sapphire flesh drips from its onyx bone
and fetid breath proclaims the brute's decay.
I do not mourn the loss of conquered reign;
the hunt resumes, another trophy slain.
Copyright © 1995 Claire A. Schaeffer