*Image: “Evening Clouds” by Robert Tokley, 36”x46” Oil on Canvas, 2015
Converged to bill nuts and let the husks fall and tick through
Drum the litter of dead leaves with these tricorn stars—
The sun lowers his bright head and his red pall stretches
He plants his gold sandaled feet ever firmer so as not to fall,
For the ocean laps over the marble trench in the west and
Or when you pass the water wall in the lobby.
cold bronze green.
because you are not going home.
Some crush their soft faces between your shoulder blades like
That chill down your spine,
something else but grit,
St. Marjorie All-Fours
Of smelling the ink from front to back.
Its cheap gilt pages had turned to brass from being sprung
Between my thumbs.
Their unwashed wool skirts and snow pants bellows exhaling
My lips moved with the other children’s and my thoughts
Saddling the tallest girl’s swayback.
They weighed no more than a fat winter fly,
Still enough to ride out the folds of her blouse as she signed so
fulsomely with her belly thrust out,
Her first of the first breasts,
Each barely a brown cheekful of air now,
For the feet,
A hunter’s moon drifts in the black limbs.
Its pale light fills the roadway with silver,
Shallows before the current,
The curb of a stepped bank—
Where it would lap over my big toe,
Which has its moonrise to meet the other,
Like “Outlook Certain,”
Surfacing from beneath the nail.
I am nothing here but what I am,
Breath, pajamas, bare feet,
The sound of bins rolled to the street,
Both steered it to the driveway’s edge,
Hands that are the feel now for the tiller,
For my own boat on this river.
When they lean this way and that after a summer storm,
The red player’s mallet forges
The tops of the tomato stakes even flatter.
What repurpose flies from my fist—
The butt of a spear,
The pommel of a blade,
The nock and fletching in a split,
With bent wood in hand,
I hammer out a longbow from where you are in the window.
Brown twists of twine slip down like ropes.
China rattles in the distance.
One rank green captive after another . . .
Then the porch steps,
The handrails drawn by terrible goats
Back to your side.
Illustrative Imagery by Robert Tokley
Robert Tokley paints with oil paint on hand-stretched canvas. He derives inspiration from the Canadian art movement of The Group of Seven. Using pure, bright color he attempts to recreate for the viewer his feeling or mood of the actual experience of “being there” in the outdoors.