Jason Beale: ‘Étude’ and ‘Rothkovian’


I’m slouched at a table
surrounded by books,
whose silent words are
dry and still as bones;

then through the wall,
a piano plays—blooms
of sound that fall away
like petals off a bough.

My daughter’s hands
upon the keys, reduce
each note in innocence
to a strange perfume;

and language forgot,
in a place of peace,
the simple joy of music
puts my soul at ease.

Jason Beale


Stepping over the cool pavement stars
I feel the ground rising up,
arms swinging along their arc.
Yellow chrysanthemums on the fence
are glowing in the dying dusk:
divinely Rothkovian.

Now the world migrates around the Sun,
my sphere of self rolls like a stone
mapped with fissures and lichen,
while the spirit within has begun
to calcify in secrecy—
my synapses fading out,
pushing sixty.

Jason Beale

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