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.



Current Issue
Contributors' Notes

Email this poem Printer friendly page


Morgan Bazilian

Jeffrey P. Beck

Anne Bryant

Grace Cavalieri

Norma Chapman

Joan Colby

Amber Rose Crowtree

Stephen Devereux

Chidsey Dickson

Alixa Doom

Kimberly Glanzman

Jane Ellen Glasser

Taylor Graham

Alicia Hoffman

Sonja James

Michael Lauchlan

Mercedes Lawry

J.T. Ledbetter

Hailey Leithauser

Hailey Leithauser interviews Averill Curdy

Steven Levery

Lyn Lifshin

Joanne Lowery

Michael H. Lythgoe

Janet McCann on Barbara Crooker

Judith McCombs

John McKernan

Roger Mitchell

Charles Patrick Norman

Simon Perchik

Perry L. Powell

Stephen S. Power

Oliver Rice

W.M. Rivera

William Ruleman

Sherod Santos

Anjali Angelika Sarkar

Ed Shacklee

Matthew Buckley Smith on Averill Curdy

Noel Smith

A.B. Spellman

Robert Joe Stout














Last Updated: Mar 10, 2021 - 2:35:35 PM

Copyright 2005 - 2021 Cook Communication.