In The Museum
Age Rating: 7 +
My stroll down Fifth Avenue becomes a cadence,
A race towards the museum steps,
Up and through two heavy, reluctant doors.
Once there, desire yields to calm amid
The embrace of the still, silent darkness.
Edges soften inside, shimmer and slide,
Standing on sacred or fordidden ground,
Where we look, or perhaps are looked at.
Rembrandt's impasto scolds me for ogling
Bathsheba at her bath. His "Blinding of Sampson"
Seems to say, "You shall not see."
"I should not be here," I say, as I pass
The work of Max Beckman and Egon Schiele.
And Kandinsky's improvisations
"On the Spiritual in Art" raise me
Till I'm seized by Courbet's pallete knife
(Ashes to ashes, dust to dust)!
Do I expand or contract in front of
Pollock's "Galaxy?" Shut it all out
Or take it all in? More questions than answers, here.
Standing in front of Rubens, can I muster
The strength to go on and simply relax
In front of Chardin and Vermeer?
Humbling myself past Millet's peasants,
Will I reach the Promised Land of Cezanne?
And staring at Rothko's "Triptych,"
I wonder if I'm in Heaven or Hell
(I heard he committed suicide).
Was Thomas Mann right about Art?
The irony of it?
A violation or a surrender?
And have I shared or simply been spared,
Wondering if Eliot's Wasteland
Is out there or in here.
The museum guard taps me on the back.
It's closing time, and dropping Ariadne's thread,
I leave quietly to return another day.