painting

As the floods died away and returned to their mother streams

Leaving the skyscrapers dressed in coats of moulded green

High on the highest building was a room

Never touched by the storms and in there lay the most

Beautiful painting in the universe

For a time the spiders crawled across it, appreciating its

Bumps of oils,

Some nights a rat would scuttle across the floor and nibble at

The edge of the wooden frame: such wonderful tastes.

But the apes, who had stared at the heavens and had come down

From the trees, leaving painted finger prints in caves along

The way and who had then evolved into upright walkers

Built cities that scraped the skies

That kissed the clouds

Never knowing if their art and beauty came from the gods

Or from the blood

The apes had decorated their palaces with paintings

But the floods finally fell and the apes were long since taken

No life was left, no life at all

To look upon the last great painting

Like the falling tree in the empty forest

No sound, no beauty.

 

bobby stevenson 2016

 

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