Shed for You

In the wounded haze
of this unfolding moment,
Black Jesus slips to earth,
unshaven.

Dressed in torn jeans,
he sits, hookers at his feet.
Sunlight circles his head.
Complaints rush in to city hall
about wine found in the water main.

We turn on the sprinkler,
cares tumbling from fingertips
as we soak in the amber spray.

Our bodies glow
from memories rising
of days long ago, days
when you still loved me.

Artist’s commentary:

I often think of the people we pass in our everyday lives who are filled with goodness and the ability to inspire goodness in us. We don’t see many of them because we judge them by their outward appearance and dismiss them. The poem is a tribute to those unseen people.

Abstract Cross by Mary Hillier

 

A fast way of painting by simply blocking in color or in this case the lack of it except for two bright blue squares.

 

Baptismal Font

Pink and green mansions sizzle
in Palm Beach’s white heat,
windows shuttered, lawns tended
by riff raff from the wrong side
of the Intracoastal Waterway.
Shaggy haired JilRoy Roco gazes
across Ocean Boulevard to padlocked gates
blocking beach belonging to these MIA rich
to the high tide line.
JilRoy figures beaches belong to God,
not these see and be seens who call
only to complain their shrubs
are cut too short or too tall,
who treat him like the Invisible Man
or Tonto trailing in Silver’s dust.

He tosses weed eater into truck, drives
north to the Palm Beach Public Beach
where, no longer invisible, so dark
against anemic rich tourist skin,
he saunters to the low tide line,
heads south into no-man’s land,
feet sinking into wet sand, waves
seeping over work boots.
Odysseus in a lawn cutter’s uniform.

I see him approach this end of God’s beach,
a shadow in the fading light.
Sand clings like sequins to his soaked pants.
His eyes are dewdrops; hair, seaweed.
I want to kiss him, draw him under
the pier, make love to courage.
Instead, I hand him my water bottle.
He pours it over his head.

Artist’s commentary:

This poem accurately describes the situation with ownership of the beaches over in Palm Beach. I used to bike weekly through that stretch of closed up mansions and rusted-shut gates and never saw anyone using the beach. Despite that, just to walk the beach would incur a fine. One day a friend of mine went to the public beach in Palm Beach at low tide and walked below the tide line those 13 miles south to ‘legal’ territory again. He became my personal hero for doing this. I made him into JilRoy because so many of the workers over there are dark skinned and invisible.

Green Flamingo by Mary Hillier

 

Love of that creatures elegant shape has me painting them over and over.

Dawn

He slips out of my dream,
eyes filled with moonlight,
and embraces me.
He’s young again, body mended
by the laughter of innocent children,
the scent of blossoming flowers.

If I open my eyes to cry happiness
onto his shoulder he will fade,
rejoin the invisible dead,
so I dream on, desperately,
until dawn breaks, taking him.

Artist’s commentary:

This poem was inspired by the death of someone close to me. So many times people who’ve died appear to me in dreams and I’m grateful when they do . I get to see them again and I don’t want that dream to end.

Face Drawing by Mary Hillier

 

Actual portrait drawn from a mask of my own face.

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