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

My Review

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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 8 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Marie Anzalone

8 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


oh marie. sister of my heart... this is it. i will print this out in huge print and paste it all over my walls.
... thank you.

Posted 9 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

yes...simply yes...we do and the doing is the art and the existance...well pinned.

Posted 9 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I like to think of myself as an impressionist when I write, capturing colours and textures. I thought this poem was very expressive touching on so many emotions :)

Posted 9 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

someday . . . I wish to be able to paint . . . just like this

Posted 9 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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24 Reviews
Shelved in 7 Libraries
Added on August 22, 2011
Last Updated on August 23, 2012

A Pilgrimage in Epistles: Poems as Letters and Observations


Marie Anzalone
Marie Anzalone

Xecaracoj, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

Bilingual (English and Spanish) 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 argume.. more..


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