Caught shooting the sun’s tangent
through the smoked filters
of his instrument,
his gaze bores inside flame.
He postcards thoughts
across created distance,
heart to soul, his fingerprints
all over his vase of fragments.
Petitioning the muse with ink, he vectors
a tonic inside an age-spotted hand,
inside pulse, craft attaching its arteries
onto shadow edge as twilight slips out of roots.
He imagines his hilltop bench
a captain’s chair facing the horizon’s mirage,
soft wind rippling dead calm, driftwood waiting
for a tide, the ambiguous privilege of being
perceptive inscribing sharp notes,
stanza to stanza, as chaos riptides closer.
An old dream hangs like incense above
his yellow vase. He layers ink over
some distance from leaving
his scars to the weight of stones.
Sky bearing a red and gold canvas west.
Faces of this age, inbound,
transit under city towers.
Tip of paintbrush inside canvas rivers.
My eyes wander in a white sky,
drawn as human
to our magnetic stutter,
hands in pockets.
Distant jackhammers cube the air.
Trees wanting a wet gray shine,
the strokes of a sable brush
lay cart tracks down on
canvas gravel, through pools of water
reflecting November overcast
and the skies of a seagull's cry.
Let the vandals worship their statues.
At the bus-stop,
I stand back and watch
children make churches with their hands.
Charles Thielman was born and raised in Charleston, S.C., moved to Chicago, educated at red-bricked universities and on city streets. He has enjoyed working as a truck driver, city bus driver and enthused bookstore clerk. Married on a Kauai beach in 2011, he is a loving Grandfather for five free spirits.