Allies by Jan Betts (Signed March 10 2022 – acrylic on canvas)
Allies of the Night
Beyond the jamble and the jumble of 9 to 5
past the freeways, the fast food, the furthest out
you’ve ever been…
Beyond the rest-stops, the repeating double yellow lines,
the markers on the highway,
the pullovers, the gravel shoulders,
grabbing your hoodie from the backseat…
Where did you think you were going?
This place can not be reached by car, or plane
or oxcart, on foot or mule train…
You saw it once in your lifetime,
but once was not enough…
and now, it no longer exists.
You saw it when there was no electricity,
just the night sounds of your mind,
drawn like a moth to flame;
your eyes followed these unearthly lights
as they made their way,
from branch to branch and tree to tree.
Your face lighting and paling
between awe and disbelieving
mystical whisperings blowing in your ears..
Those lights knew … so much more
than you could ever find words for.
They told you, the big secret..
so impossible to repeat but so clearly true.
A musky perfume of ozone and decomposing leaves,
in the almost woods in an almost time, they were everywhere.
The lights danced in aerial grace and impossibility
they played with you..teasing…telling you things
you were not built to comprehend…
beyond the limits of your sanity, beyond your imagination
far past your brain’s wiring,
past the rest-stops and the highway markers..
beyond all borders and one country after another.
In a forest of a small girl’s dream world,
not scared just more alive,
you sat in a thatched roof room and said…
as they floated by,
“I don’t have the words”and you cried.
You cried in joy and promises that
sometime and someday far far away..
you would capture their likeness
on your canvas with your gift and your paints
these allies of the night,
that surrounded and caressed you
and then… way before the dawn…
March 11, 2022
Footnote: Jan Betts is one of my dearest friends,,More of her amazing art
Can be seen here on her website: http://www.janbettsart.com/