Lover to the Arts.

I’ve always been
    the Lover to the Arts,

kissin’ the lips
    embracin’ the arms
of all her kinds;

once upon a time…

i wanted to paint
    with my inner voice
i wanted my inner voice
    to speak through the
artistry of painting
through the voices of
    Jacob Lawrence,
John T. Biggers,
    Hale Woodruff
that still resound today…

     (more easily said) but
a young life began
    his renaissance with crayons
and blue-line paper sheets
    crafting dreams of sunbeam
filled skies and joys of days
    that only rays of sun could
replicate in the clarity of
    the voices we’d
paint together

    those were the days--- until my voice
painted out of its range
    and sketched me out
of the portfolio
    of ability.

once upon a time…

i wanted to dance
    with my inner paintbrush
i wanted my inner paintbrush
    to move through
the rhythmic freedom of
   my body, in ways
the paintbrushes of
   George Snowden,
Leroy Jones
   grooved and still brush on today…

(more easily said) but
    my dreams found themselves
wrapping my body around the
    grove, passion of the pulses,
and the tenacity of the tempos.
    those were the days--- until my paintbrush
missed a step
    and tumbled me outside
of the Lennox Lounge’s side
    doors I once could slide through.

i want to write
  with my inner cadence
I want my poetry
    to dance lyrics in
heartfelt performances
Countee Cullen,
   Langston Hughes,
Zora Neale Hurston
    jazzed then and still dance on today…

(more easily said) but
    my poetry finds itself floating
on the vibrato of the rhythm
    as words lock their experiences
into poetic fixations and give life to
    the songs
the dances
    the pictures
seen and touched by the
    renaissance of my young life
‘cause there’s this something special
    about how poetry tempts me as she
moves--- and I’ve always been

the Lover to the Arts
    just-a kissin’ and embracin’

Mark Anthony Thomas
Copyright © 2004

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