Nature morte : l’atelier de l’artiste, 1891

If the knife should lay upon a white tablecloth,
Half turned towards a vase of painted china
In which posed flowers collide, and of which the
Curves show startled faces of daisies, all dulled
In a tangential evening light from the window ;

If the roofs and chimneys should bask in their
Obsolescence as in the last heat of the day,
Raising their perpendiculars to the raw heaven,
Unchanged by the fleet paths of birds that pass
Between the shaded window and their dull clay ;

If the fruit should sit in a glow from the rooftops,
Seeming to swim in uncertain forms, lovely and
Dark as a child’s wet hair, in a china fruitbowl
That funnels whitely from the table like a splash
Of spilt cream, pale-skinned, yellow and green ;

Who then shall say this nature is captured where
It lies, or that it is the artifact of crude cohesion?
We parse it out among its very fragrances! Our
Love is no drawn and vivisected thing. Deposons.
We will watch the fruit in their deathless light.







Rabbiner, 1914


His gaze is steady.

Black and white in his beard, and

                               In the cloth

Of his tallit, threads of which trail

Across his lap. Black the kippah

                               At his crown,

Out of which wild hair blows,

                               Pale gossamer,

Manipulated by a shallow breeze.


His hands are bloodless as after

Illness, and in the right a tzitzit

                               Lies limply

Held between ring and little finger.

Its black and white wind endlessly,

                               A trail of stars

Across the darkness of his shawl.


Light plays across his brow, and in

The slight concave

Of the bridge of his fallen nose.

                               He seems to

Watch for a motion in the air.







Rimbaud : OPHÉLIE I

On calm, black water, where the stars sleep,

Pale Ophelia floats like a great lily,

Floats almost motionless, bound in her long veils.

From the far woods, calls sound.

For more than a thousand years, Ophelia

Passes, a white phantom, on the long, dark stream ;

For more than a thousand years, her sweet folly

Murmurs its romance to the evening breeze.


The wind kisses her breasts, giving out in corollae

Vast curtains that are shaped softly by the waters ;

Trembling willows weep over her shoulders, and

The reeds incline over her broad, dreaming brow.

Crumpled waterlilies sigh around her ;

Sometimes, in a sleepy inlet, she disturbs a nest,

From which a shivering of slight wings escapes :

An obscure music falls from the golden stars—



Owen Lucas is a British poet living in Norwalk, Connecticut. He grew up in rural Cambridgeshire, and began writing as a student at the University of London. His poems have been published in reviews and journals on both sides of the Atlantic, with work soon to feature in Eunoia Review, The Round, Vector Press, the James Dickey Review, 94 Creations, North Chicago Review, Forge and Clarion. His first chapbook is forthcoming in September, from Mountain Tales Press.

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