On Gathering Artists, by Alberto Rios

On Gathering Artists

Who does a job well, and very well—These are the artists, those curiousLights.

We are cobblers of the songAnd barkers of the carnival word,We are tailors of the lightAnd framers of the earth.We fish among the elementsAnd hunt the elusive green in gray and blue.We drink forbidden watersAnd eat an invisible food.
In this time of electronic-mail and facsimileConversation, we send as our voiceThe poem, the bridge, the circuit, the cureWhose electricity is made from dreams,Whose song is sung in the colors yet unnamedDrawn from the solitary études of the soulAnd given up in tender to the world.
How easy to spend a day writing a poem,How hard to spend a life writing a thousand.A poem, a bridge, a story, a circuit,Cures, laws, bowls—The warp and weave and waft of ironAnd paper and light and salt:We labor for a lifetimeBut take every day off.Who knows what to make of us?We are not the ribcage, but the legs;We are not the steering wheel, but the headlamps.We gather happily, if not often. We can’tSit still. We hurry off. Good-bye to us,Hello to us, a tip of the hatTo us, as we go aboutThe drumming of our stars.

poems.one - Alberto Rios

Alberto Rios