Charlie Becker - Poetry
When Artists Nap
by Charlie Becker
There’s barely time as eucalyptus leaves
level stillness on the ground, the air more
pure thanks to artists breathing deeply
in Griffith Park. Our blanket softens
twisted tree roots and the dry dirt beneath
when we open our eyes to late-day clouds.
We hurry. You begin now with turquoise
pastel across the top of cream colored
paper. Your blue absorbs the daylight
as it spreads growing trees from their
top branches to the sandy brown earth
you draw below. You work quickly
bottom to sides, inside to edges winding
emerald moss and mustard ivy around
trunks and sides of angular rocks. Even
a seagull circling our heads somehow
sends its caws into the purples of your
uneven wild grasses.
Afternoon bright begins to fade casting
orange shadows everywhere. You grab
some with a crayon and splash it to your
sky like fire without flames, heat causing
dusk. Then I nervously begin to search
the ground at our feet as darkness arrives
until finally, there it is, the tiny pale
glowworm we dreamed about hours ago.
With my finger I rub yellow light from
its body and transfer some to your drawing
just underneath one of the perfect flat gray
stones so your artwork is properly signed.