by Thomas Davis
As bright as any stone alive with mind,
Pygmalion touched his statue’s stony lips
And told sweet Venus that he’d strike her blind
If stony thighs were not made fleshy hips.
Cold Venus smiled a stony smile and laughed.
She put Medusa’s mask upon her lovely face.
Pygmalion stared at stone-wild eyes half daft,
Afraid of stone, still filled with hope for grace.
With wily wonder in her lovelost look,
Sweet Venus snaked her hair into the night.
Pygmalion’s mind turned stone, his flesh, cold, shook
With fears inspired by stone’s wild face of fright.
Then Venus smiled with warmth, took off her mask.
Pygmalion’s love fled stone. Alive at last!
photograph by Sonja Bingen
a love poem to Ethel by Thomas Davis
In the stone fields
The roots of the pinyon
Interweave with stone.
In the barest silence
Song is worn like a cloak
Of the brightest colors.
May my lips be as a brook
Bubbling forth songs
In praise of my love.
May my heart be as a pinyon,
Drawing forth music
From the barest stones.
Originally published in The New Quiver, University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh, copyright 1972.