The Extinct Traders

Here’s a painting I recently finished of some rapids up Hyalite Canyon. I get frustrated painting water. If I get the form and movement right, then I’m off-base on the color. The only reason I paint it is because I like to look at it. Maybe I should just get the hell out of my “studio” and stand in a river, (as in this poem).

The Extinct Traders

They should stand in a river, the makers of laws,
wars and money. They should feel the dark
molecules turn in their sockets of stone. Their flaws
should be transparent, their flesh should stand in stark
contrast to the mud, roots and leaves of the pools.
The builders of dams, weapons, and walls should stand
among the herons, holding their obsolete tools
above the current, talismans in a grand
gesture for the inspection of gnats. Let
these plastic fossils become a gaudy clock
to gauge the decline of freedom, the rise of debt
among the extinct traders in water and rock.
Let them hold their precious commodities forever.
Let them weather. Let them stand in a river.


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