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I’ve written about my friend Alice Parris before. Not only is she a poet and a songwriter (and a blues and gospel singer), but she’s also a committed Christian. She tires to spread the love of God wherever she is. She expresses this love through her art. To that end, she recently began a new web site Alice Parris Arts & Entertainment. And she has been kind enough to allow me to present a new poem.


I am a wiggling fish being scaled;
not quite dead enough…

With the shutting of the door,
my soul shutters.

Aloneness is overrated.

I walk between two realms.
You can never enter my
ether-space, earth-creature.

I am the unpredictable wind.

You are the earth clutching at
roots. My fury uproots all of your
mounting efforts.

Still, when thoughts flee, we
touch; an exquisite perfection-

When you do leave me, I am the
timekeeper, blowing out meted,
still, suffocating,


Who said that a dungeon had to

be a cellar of hewn- stone & dried-blood?

The mind, the most tortured of all.

Inside of the pod is a crimson core;
the fruit of this planting is

bloody gore.

Alice Parris


Alice also has sites here and here, where you can hear her sing.

In the Art Gallery

Scarlet birds in the foreground
flocking toward hazy currents—
joining, further back, the bluish ones
arced in flight. Impressions mingle,

colors from three paintings
blur, create
a world of havoc. Pointing,
reaching skyward above the city—
the steeple stands. Purple wires
span the yellow distance.

On the opposite wall, blood
on alabaster hands.

Scarlet birds in the foreground.

first published in Domicile

The bold colors you have chosen
for the trees and the sky and the roofs

invite me to be more than an observer
of your art but rather to participate

in a place that is documented but not
interpreted for me. You have captured

the scene but invited me to create
with you. Your colors explode

around buildings built at odd angles.
Your tree on the left looks as though

a horse is jumping through it, and the trees
themselves look effervescent. You have

invited me to a quaint village and made me
long to return to a place I have never been.

You have located the spiritual within
the ordinary. And I stand corrected:

The horse is not a horse at all;
It’s a really thin Spanish bull.


When a poem explodes from a piece of visual art, the process is know as ekphrasis.
See the beautiful watercolor that inspired this poem on Miki’s site.

EDIT: After reading Miki’s comments, I added the last three lines.

April 2008