Animal Skull, Hollyhock and Rose

Amber sand, transfixed in white, moonlight cords
tatter on idle horns, of an idle cattle skull.

Rose petal pink streams flutter on desert winds,
a rider loses himself, if for a moment.


Red cliffs, rolling, drag the sun across the
azure. Wizened cow skull, still, the threads

are severed. Liberated light rises and rises. On
the pedernal roses unfurl, and unfurl.


Crimson hills tumble over horizons edge,
clouds contemplate sprints across the sky.

Sunlight strands sift through dust, wrapping
over and around gleaming horns.

Rider crosses the range, his eyes catch the
rams skull, suspended by a gossamer web.


These are tests for a certain kind of imagery (so love Georgia O’Keeffe), so they aren’t all there yet. Hopefully they’ll lead to something bigger.

First image found here:

Second and third images found here:


About skyraftwanderer

A person who enjoys writing short story things, poetry and other random things that come into my head.
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22 Responses to Animal Skull, Hollyhock and Rose

  1. Pingback: Animal Skull, Hollyhock and Rose | Golden Giraffes Riding Scarlet ... | wildlife news |

  2. Pingback: Animal Skull, Hollyhock and Rose | Golden Giraffes Riding Scarlet … | Our Endangered Planet and it's Wildlife.

  3. Emma says:

    They are very evocative. It’s almost like removing a slice from the painting and rendering it with words rather then paints. Lovely, really.

  4. brian miller says:

    i think your imagery is incredible….it is always evocative seeing these skulls out in the woods or desert…it has menace but also the promise that life has been here…

  5. claudia says:

    loved esp. the rider, losing himself for a moment.. and yeah…agree with bri..your imagery is def. incredible

  6. 1emeraldcity says:

    The language here is so rich and lush, especially when read aloud. You do make O’Keefe come alive, but at the end of the day it is Sky, painting rhythmically, and one listens to your color tune above all. Beautiful work!

  7. Ruth says:

    love the more than hint of story in this, the language perfect… beautiful pictures & words

  8. K. McGee says:

    The word images are delicious and really accentuate the art.

  9. chris says:

    Love the colours and the expanses in this. The alliteration and also the repetitions in the fourth verse work really well. Great write.

  10. Laurie Kolp says:

    Well I think it’s great just the way it is!

  11. kelly says:

    These are wonderful, I love O’Keefe, your words were like viewing her paintings. Her skulls have always been my least favorite… but now, you have made me see them differently.

  12. Chazinator says:

    When people write about paintings, it’s often just descriptive. What I love about how you write poetry about art is that you makes poetry out of the paintings, pulling together the already beautiful work and making a mysterious whole that captures the chi of the original but goes beyond, into that realm that only words can evoke I think. I’ve been to O’Keefe country, and your work certainly does evoke that mystery, I must say.

  13. hedgewitch says:

    Big O’Keefe freak here, so love that you’ve taken her work on. It is indeed, all about image., and each of these seems to spring out of the paintings–though I don’t think any words can define O’Keefe’s enigmas, they do suggest so many different things, as you illustrate here..

  14. Sehr groovy, and I am reminded of one time being captivated by a horse skull sitting on a brick wall- but when I tried to capture the image with my camera I was nigh attacked by two very vicious dogs. What I wonder is it about skulls that captivate us so? Peace.

  15. Beth Winter says:

    I love that the clouds contemplate sprints across the sky. Beautiful work as always.

  16. your words are exquisitely woven through o’keeffe’s visionary paintings…just beautiful!

  17. Evelyn says:

    “Rose petal pink streams flutter”
    what a luscious combination of words…

  18. Knew it was O’Keeffe before I looked at the pix. You’re talking my country here. She lived near my hometown (Amarillo) for a few years as she began her work, teaching at the nearby college (now West Texas Univ.) I think she was run out of town..or she had to get out of town, but she never lost the love of flat parched land and finally found an even grander landscape in the next state over where the land lies in
    colored ribbons that shift plait and change with clouds and the turn of the day and each night the sky filled with a billion stars. Loved this – you capture the scenes so well in words.

  19. joanna says:

    have to agree with some of the others that the imagery here is powerfully evocative. i loved especially the rolling cliffs dragging the sun across the sky…

  20. hypercryptical says:

    I was trying to select a favourite piece – but I can’t – I love it all! Perfect imagery and I agree, it is perfection now.

    Anna :o]

  21. janehewey says:

    the bloom, the cloud current, the sensitive action in this – all so beautiful. I read and reread, smiling and exhaling with joy.

  22. ManicDdaily says:

    You know I haven’t always liked O’Keefe so much but these look great and are especially wonderful combined with your words. Thanks much. k.

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