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Dr. Quigley Ladles the Air

2009 March 22
by J. Scott Mosel
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A Room with Too Many Mysteries

In order to uncover epiphanies
for art, they told Dr. Quigley
the spoon must be shiny
and clean, so they gave him a new one.

He began to ladle the air
in the room and then lift it
to his eyes
to see which colors appeared.

Certain rooms are full of red,
maybe a spoonful if you are lucky.

He wondered the house for days,
looking for red, but he only found blue.
He scooped the air again and found darkness
which he brought to his lips
to sip for the first time.

There is no reason
to believe this. Some never do.
Fine. He has seen light fall
in chunks around them as
they sit on frozen chairs
and wait. They never hear the flutter
of wings near the ceiling,
they never see his spoon swirl
with a trace of feathers.

Dr. Quigley is not surprised.

Who could question the flight
of birds in a room full
of so many
unsettled brush strokes?

Look just past your doubt,
where, even in the dark,
all colors merge and become
nameless, free from blame:
here, up to his waist
in his favorite lake, in a room
with too many mysteries to name,
the colors on the water
are the only words
he needs to hear.

2 Responses leave one →
  1. Jeff permalink
    March 24, 2009

    Great poem! Absolutely marvelous! I will read it again and again in hopes of unlocking Dr. Quigley’s mystical musings. There is a playful lightness, if you will, to this poem that really appeals to me.

  2. March 24, 2009

    Thank you kind sir. There is so much more room for the mystical in the ordinary than we typically recognize. Sometimes, we must remain open to finding the beauty in the mundane, such as your ability to find the almost religious nature of washing dishes. By the way, I did write a political poem, although it certainly not overtly so. You can find it here on this site, “A Lineage of She.” More on the why later–I am afraid I need to get back to my biography of light.

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