Radiant Arrows

The Poetry Editor and publisher of StylusLit, Rosanna Licari, kindly selected my poem, Radiant Arrows, to appear in Issue 13 of the journal.

StylusLit is an online literary journal that publishes poetry, short stories, interviews and reviews. You can read Issue 13 here.

Radiant Arrows was written in response to the painting, Composition, by Lyubov Popova (1921). Popova was heavily influenced by Cubism. Her paintings soon adopted a Cubo-Futurist style, progressing over time to entirely abstract, non-objective, forms. You can see examples of her work here.

Popova’s painting, Composition (1921), presents abstract planes with Cubist qualities, separated by bright areas of white light. In viewing the painting, one tends to respond to the disjunction, movement and intense light. You can view Composition (1921) here.

Radiant Arrows

Beyond the portal leading to the next room
a coffee-coloured armchair settles
comfortably in the afternoon sunshine.
Radiant arrows dart from wall to wall.
Bounce from one gleaming surface
to another like billiard balls rebounding
from velvet cushions.

As I peer through the doorway, brilliant
beams of light begin to dismember the chair,
carving silently through fabric and timber.
Segmenting and deforming an object which,
only a moment earlier, had seemed strong and
enduring. With each passing minute, my world
rotates. The dazzling sun moves lower
in the sky. Shapes lose their edge. Objects
distort. On a distant beach in Spain,
pocket watches sag and droop.

But time rarely stands still. A little more
rotation and the star’s power pours directly
through the glass. Everlasting artefacts burst
into flame. I lift a hand to shield my eyes.
Is this what eternity looks like? The obverse of a
pitch-black night. The relentless heat and glare
of a firestorm from which there is no
salvation. Overwhelmed, overpowered:
the coffee-coloured armchair disappears
into the light.

As you might have guessed, the reference to pocket watches alludes to the surrealist painting, The Persistence of Memory, by Salvador Dali which you can view here.

New editions of StylusLit appear twice a year, in March and September. Please enjoy reading StylusLit.