A Measure of Light

by Glenn Currier

This dark path is large in my past.
An anchor
rust-crusted and scarred
dropped from my bobbing boat
falls too many fathoms
for my rope.
My shaking vessel lurches,
about to founder.

From the far reaches,
a deep drum, a distant boom
in my inner ear
tries to wake me.

Umber shadows
black oaks arise from the earth
dark bodies lean toward my path
dripping fingers
pointing down as if to say:

Pause here a moment.
Bring your scattered mind
back to this place
where you ran
where you began.

Linger here.
Feel the warm mud
folding around your feet
sink into your roots.

Find here the measure of light
you've been seeking.

To see the picture that inspired the poem and the poem itself, please go to: http://poetryinprogress.net/Poets/Currier/Currier-Poems.html


Author's Note: Author's Note: This poem is inspired by the George Rodrigue painting, The Baton Rouge Oak http://poetryinprogress.net/Poets/Currier/Rodrigue-oak.jpg . According to Wendy Rodrigue in her blog, Musings of an Artist's Wife, as Rodrigue was seeking his own unique artistic expression, he started painting trees and landscapes from his native Cajun Louisiana. He was asked about the oak painting and its name, and he said that, "it was the tree and its relationship to its surroundings that stood out to him." When I first saw this painting on Wendy's wonderful blog - http://www.wendyrodrigue.com/2009/10/early-oak-trees-and-regrettable-self.html , it was as if it reached out from the computer screen and took hold of me. I had to write a poem about it. As I looked at the painting and noted some of its details, its meaning for my own journey emerged in this poem. I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and my roots go deep into southern Louisiana where my mother (Inez Durand Currier) was born and raised and where many of my cousins now live and love. I am grateful to George and Wendy Rodrigue for helping me navigate the path from my past to my present and into the light.


Posted on 08/07/2012
Copyright © 2020 Glenn Currier

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by A. Paige White on 08/07/12 at 06:34 PM

Beautiful poem, Glenn. Very interesting to read how the painting spoke to you of your past and how you put that into words, the words you chose to express it. Also, I'm very interested in joining "poetry in progress". Pathetic's gotten kind of boring. I would like to start something new, would you recommend me to PIP?

Posted by Dane Campbell on 08/07/12 at 07:29 PM

Beautifully written. The language of this poem coincides brilliantly with the painting that has served as its inspiration.

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