Season in Conundrum
Art and Poetry by William Noguera
How sweet to lie just once like a painter
Propped at the top of that hill on my elbow
considering the conundrum of breath.
Grasses blow among my limbs
as if wisdom has been withdrawn
for safekeeping into the library of fragments.
I have no purpose except to return back down towards a eucalyptus I love.
Its petals are filled with the terrible weight of careless reversal, grief without consequence.
It burns with such ease
just to stand there below it, dreaming of union,
all trembling and scent and colors of the moment,
is like living inside a flower,
while making a study of winter.
Blue span that leads to a gleaming city,
you cannot be crossed by longing.
The image above is entirely made up of hand-stippled pencil dots, or pointillism. Hundreds of hours of work. The poem, to be found on the back of the picture, is also written in pencil. Inmates of San Quentin's Death Row do not have access to more than one writing implement at a time. They look out at a million dollar view of the City of San Francisco across the Bay, spanned by the Bay Bridge, which cannot be crossed by longing alone. The poem is signed by a fingerprint in the Author/Inmate's own blood. An escape, of sorts?