Sonja James



photo by Dan Murano


One Interpretation

 

            after Ken Flynn's sculpture, Three Thoughts

 

Three thoughts. You can think what you will.

A telescope. A candle. A baguette.

Motion. Stillness. Pause.

As I admire the tripartite sculpture,

I envision the layered interior

of a stone on the moon

where thinking is revelation

and discovery is song.

My heart aches

as I imagine the artist at work.

Instead of posturing in a gallery,

he celebrated his love of hammer and chisel

and the ascending shadow of night

by working each evening

with the bronze he adored.

Now, from the grave,

he teaches us the subtle history

of absence and presence:

where there is no ocean,

there can be no ship of fools.

Where there is sky,

resurrection abounds.

Note:  Kenneth Flynn (1930-2013) created the lost-wood process by which he carved majestic works from hard wood he covered with steel nails and molten bronze.  He then burned the wood out, revealing that important step in creating art—the discarding of essential beauty to create something more transcendent. After returning from Viet Nam in 1964, Ken devoted his life to creating lasting works of bronze on steel, the nails within recalling the suffering he understood so well, the smooth, bronze exterior embodying the healing process he also understood, and experienced. Window light streams through his sculptures, which are owned by collectors in the USA and Europe.



Sonja James is the author of three collections of poetry:  Baiting the Hook (The Bunny & the Crocodile Press, 1999), Children of the Moon (Argonne House Press, 2004), and Calling Old Ghosts to Supper (Finishing Line Press, 2013).  Her poetry has appeared in FIELD, The Iowa Review, Margie: The American Journal of Poetry, Crab Creek Review, 32 Poems, The Journal, Gargoyle, 5 A.M., The South Carolina Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Verse Daily, and Poet Lore, among others.  Among her honors are two Pushcart Prize nominations.  In 2007, she was co-winner of the Sotto Voce Award. For three years she served as an associate editor of Antietam Review. In addition, she has contributed book reviews to The Montserrat Review, Smartish Pace, and The Martinsburg Journal. She has two sons and resides in Martinsburg, West Virginia.









                                    

 

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