Jo Nelson

En Comienzo
Thus it began, thus:    paint words     blood red,
a candle incandescing its own heart.
Canvases grew    wall size;    the doors    opened –
Paris, Spain, New York.
He saw spaces beyond windows, shapes and souls;
his plaster pages    peopled    Mexico.
Stone bread ground los Indios who wanted only
sus cabritos, who wanted   to grow maize,
to pray    in the ancient way they knew.

Markets sport his plazas;    his saints, Toltec noses
and Zapata’s horse.
His cubes ripened then with faces of love and war
wore a black bandanna  and papagayo plumes
and war    wore down su mestizo.

Copyright 1998, Jo Nelson
Jo Nelson has been a writer-in-residence for the Washington State Arts Commission; has taught French, German, and English in Maryland and Colorado; and now teaches occasional poetry seminars and workshops at writers' conferences.  Her poems and short stories have been published in numerous national magazines and anthologies.  One of her poems was used in original compositions by the German composer Johannes Schmidt-Sistermans at the knitting factory in New York and for German radio.

Switched-on Gutenberg 
Thematic Contents / Vol. 3, No. 2 
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