Poem – The Retired Artist (By John Grey)
THE RETIRED ARTIST
Such a relief to shut down my temples.
I’m just a roof, some columns,
an auditorium deep but empty.
And, if you’re keeping score,
I forgo the easel, the baton,
and all that writing across time.
If they want me, they can drag me
out of what I’ve already accomplished.
I plan to be flesh and blood, not vision.
My images, my sounds, even my words,
will console themselves with chores,
gardening and the smallest of small talk.
Art? No, I find the onset of death preferable.
It’s the one critic left that I have to please.
I don’t want to be blind Monet or Milton,
deaf Beethoven drowning in silent chords.
And I don’t have enough of Hemingway’s despair
to put a bullet to my head.
I’m willing to wait life out – watch it wind down
like a low-key reprise, a weak-kneed anti-climax.
But no more brushes, no more ivories,
no more pen and paper.
It’s six p.m. time to concoct myself a meal.
Be damned if I’ll create one.
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Sin Fronteras, Dalhousie Review and Qwerty with work upcoming in Plainsongs, Willard and Maple and Connecticut River Review.