poem: We Paint the Sky

poem: We Paint the Sky

A Chapter by Marie Anzalone

for EP, may you live your dream

 

We paint.

We paint because we see.

We paint because we feel, hear, smell and taste more.

We paint because 250 generations of oppression;

    the sight of machine guns pointed at our knees

         and the smokestacks of crematoriums

 has never been enough to silence the voice of a free man

                       or woman.

 

We paint.

    In colors, and tones, and in clay.

       In voice and word and prayer and deed.

      We paint in synch, we paint outside the lines;

we paint each other, and our selves.

           We paint what we feel, we write what we see.

         We paint because to stop painting

is to permit ourselves to die.

 

We paint the walls that encircle our bodies,

     we paint the doors that permit us entrance

              into sacred spaces,

   we paint the births of genius and

the death of innocents.

             We paint bones. We paint the sky.

 We paint ourselves into corners,

                 we paint our minds free of traps.

 

We paint because we love too much,

   and we are too much present with the nature of things.

        And when our hearts feel broken enough

   from grief and the despair of not knowing

            we paint our emotions in bitter crimson

slashed with electric blue.

 

And when we sing with joy, we paint that, too... golden tones

     and golden notes and golden words dripping honey.

  We paint our anger into black swords to pierce our enemies

and we paint our desire into the shape of the spaces

          of those who would fill our hearts.

              We paint our wishes for the world

            on the feathers cast by doves

                  and let them fly into the morning breeze

           every dawn.

 

We paint because there have always been those

         who would hold us down and break our spirits

between the rocks of conformity

             and we've learned to just say "f**k it,"

  there is no guarantee of anything

  in this life so get busy living it.

          The road of most resistance starts

at the doorsteps of our hearts,

     and we have painted every bleeding foot

                       along the way.

 

And still still, there is more to describe-

     we paint because drawing breath is an agony

and exhaling an exstasy

      and somewhere in the space in-between 

                we think we once found a truth;

 and the eternal part of us desires 

                  to share this truth at all costs

 

only it's never quite how we pictured it, 

          and it's never quite received the way we want

and the paint drips with our own blood

                the handles of our brushes are our own bones

our own tears become the words to our most beautiful love songs

             and we know we'll never get it right before we die-

getting up every morning and facing our own limited truth

        is a courage so divine

             most men quell and women stay enslaved in silence.

 

As transgressors we are punished for our audacity

         and we are shunned by our families-

                     our excesses are weighed in pounds of flesh,

and those who love us most for our art

                 also hate us for what we do to ourselves

                               to hold on it

 

and yet... with every last breath we draw in this life,

           we somehow look out into the world

and pick up our brushes

             sharpen our tools,

                  and with bent and broken spirits,

faltering hands, and despairing minds...

 

... we put pen to paper, brush to canvas...

           and we paint.  

 




© 2012 Marie Anzalone



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Featured Review

This is really very nice. Readable, and there's a sort of power here that's immediately tangible to the reader. I think you do end up repeating yourself a little near the end and I think there's a few things you could cut, but really, that's a very minor issue. You've presented this very well and your message is relatable and very, very well-done. Good work.

Posted 4 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Marie Anzalone

4 Years Ago

I used reptition on purpose here, to create a space large enough to contain my friend. I am sure I f.. read more



Reviews

we paint pictures on a canvas or we paint them on a page...

either way...it is life sustaining for some of us...might not always be how we pictured it, life isn't always what our ideal picture is...but without our art, what are we, and why are we?

i really could imagine hearing this being read aloud...and enjoying listening and pondering...

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Marie Anzalone

3 Years Ago

Interesting that you picked up on that, jacob- this one is one I read aloud for my live audiences. T.. read more
It is always such a wonder to read you, I especially loved and related to:
And still still, there is more to describe-
we paint because drawing breath is an agony
and exhaling an exstasy
and somewhere in the space in-between
we think we once found a truth;
and the eternal part of us desires
to share this truth at all costs

only it's never quite how we pictured it,
and it's never quite received the way we want
and the paint drips with our own blood
the handles of our brushes are our own bones
our own tears become the words to our most beautiful love songs
and we know we'll never get it right before we die-
getting up every morning and facing our own limited truth
is a courage so divine
most men quell and women stay enslaved in silence.

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Marie Anzalone

3 Years Ago

Thank you, Corset, for reading and appreciating my work. This one os one of my personal favorites. I.. read more
Corset

3 Years Ago

yes.......that is expressively understood by your elegant lines.
This is a magnificent breath of fresh air. We truly do create such a vibrance in our lives with our expressions, written, painted or voiced. There is a vastness within us that can rarely be explored, but you have started our journey so well.

Henry Ward Beecher: "Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures."

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Marie Anzalone

4 Years Ago

Your quote, once again, is so apropos to the peice and review that it astonishes me. Yes, you nailed.. read more
This is really very nice. Readable, and there's a sort of power here that's immediately tangible to the reader. I think you do end up repeating yourself a little near the end and I think there's a few things you could cut, but really, that's a very minor issue. You've presented this very well and your message is relatable and very, very well-done. Good work.

Posted 4 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Marie Anzalone

4 Years Ago

I used reptition on purpose here, to create a space large enough to contain my friend. I am sure I f.. read more
A genius, passionate write. This verse stopped me in my tracks: "We paint because to stop painting is to permit ourselves to die." I felt that in my bones. A true call to arms for every artist within hearing distance of your voice.

Diego

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Marie Anzalone

5 Years Ago

Of all I have scribbled on paper, my friend, this one calls out the strongest to me. This was writte.. read more
Tree

5 Years Ago

Rachael I too, often wonder about all that creative talent out there, that will never see the light .. read more
Marie Anzalone

5 Years Ago

“As we let our own light shine, we consciously give other people permission to do the same. As we .. read more
NIZHONI! Yes- we must continue to paint, until the last breath. I am inspired by this writing. I love the reflection upon it's meaning....and especially appreciated the ending!
"and yet... with every last breath we draw in this life,

we somehow look out into the world

and pick up our brushes

sharpen our tools,

and with bent and broken spirits,

faltering hands, and despairing minds...



... we put pen to paper, brush to canvas...

and we paint."


Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Marie Anzalone

5 Years Ago

Thank you, Jaweena... your words mean so much. Nizhoni- "the beautiful way." I just added a new favo.. read more
so yes..

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Marie Anzalone

5 Years Ago

Thanks Larry. My friend Elvis inspired me to write this. I tried to capture his energy in this.
Larry Dyson

5 Years Ago

I believe you have..
so much the poet, perfection in brevity

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

WOW I am blown away by your poem! This definitely made my day just a made me a little more cheerful. Thanks for writing and sharing such a great poem.

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Congratulations!

Your poem We Paint the Sky has been awarded Purple Ribbon in the Lift me UP! writing contest.

Your poem blew my f#@#ing mind! Sorry for the profanity. It's just the word that came to my mind after reading it. The poem is long but it has meat, lots of meat. For anyone to read it and not be moved, lifted up, or provoked then they must be dead. I don't want to blow your head up too big though, there are a few spelling issues with the piece. (desires and received) to name a few. I would read it again and clean up any spelling / grammar issues then you can rest easily knowing you hit one out of the park.

I can't stand to read poetry that lacks an ending or some type of hook to get the reader, even if it's nothing more than a mysterious, hanging ending. Most of the time poems just end... like the writer got bored or ran out of ideas.

Your poem well had a good beginning, middle and ending. Well done! You are a deserving winner of my contest!

and yet... with every last breath we draw in this life,

we somehow look out into the world

and pick up our brushes

sharpen our tools,

and with bent and broken spirits,

faltering hands, and despairing minds...

... we put pen to paper, brush to canvas...

and we paint.

*** grabs paint brush though I have never painted ***

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on August 22, 2011
Last Updated on August 23, 2012

A Pilgrimage in Epistles: Poems as Letters and Observations


Author

Marie Anzalone
Marie Anzalone

Xela, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala



About
Bilingual poet, essayist, novelist, and technical writer working in Central America. "A poet's work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, .. more..

Writing

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