poppies red as lust

oriental-poppies 1928 O'Keeffe

Georgia O’Keeffe    Oriental Poppies  1928

 

Georgia O'Keeffe

Here is a postcard of O’Keeffe that I received from a friend. It prompted me to write this poem about 20 years ago:

Georgia O’Keeffe Looks Over Her Shoulder

 

Just when she thinks she’s painted all her fear,

When bleached skulls turn to poppies red as lust,

The sound of something wild attracts her ear.

 

Black jacket, white soft collar curving near

the place where desert sunset turns to rust

awakens in that neck a prickling fear.

 

The haunches of dead lovers gleam as clear

in skulls as in the orchid’s velvet crust.

Dry rattling of bone curls back her ear.

 

Her upswept silken hair declares the year

in shades of gray and tortoise brown as dust

just when she thought she’d painted all her fear.

 

Her thin pink pearl of seashell curves to hear

the desert’s voice, more fierce, more dry than just

as three fine wrinkles flow down from her ear.

 

Such gaunt grace turns her, luscious and severe,

containing bones and orchids, fruit and crust!

Just when she thinks she’s painted all her fear,

the sound of something wild attracts her ear.

 

 

Published in Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky   Plain View Press 2007

skull and hollyhock okeeffe

Georgia O’Keeffe    Skull and Hollyhock

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/lust/”>Lust</a&gt;

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