A poem I’ve been working on:

I have a painting on my wall of a flaming bush.
Its leaves and branches sear the eye,
painted with the brightest titanium hues
in the artist’s palette.
A man stands nearby, shoes off,
a stricken look upon his worn face.
He has eyes for nothing but this smoldering shrub

which has sundered his life
of muted green and brown and rust.

On an aimless walk through my neighborhood,
I keep an eye on the foliage I pass,
on the off chance that it should suddenly erupt
into lucid light and give my walk direction.
Or perhaps a column of cloud will precede me,
or a post-rain puddle part
as I promenade around the suburbs,
hoping for transcendence,
but ultimately having to be content
with just a bit of exercise.

Later I sit and stare
at the painting again,
and I will the bush
to be something more than
brushstrokes and globs of paint,
to burst the two dimensions of the canvas,
and to manifest there in my living room,
igniting the carpet and maybe some furniture,
and thoroughly frightening the cat.
But a painting it stubbornly remains,
even though I double and triple-check
long after the kids have all gone to bed.