Oysters on Blue Plate

The Art of David Wiley

Voyages of Rediscovery


Is it not strange

how the hills

are shaped like pyramids

and how the smoke

from the cooking fires

of the village

is such an ancient smoke

so golden and rusty

at the same time?


from the top of El Tajin

I could see those cities

like kaleidoscopes at rest

colored with the histories of gods

their smoke too

was an ancient smoke

filled with the blood of the living

and the blood of the dead

curling overhead

like a question mark


in Veracruz

where worlds once collided

I learned certain secrets:

how to love

how to walk

how to cast a net

how to taste

the full flavor of sunrise

that I later lost this knowledge

is another story

the tale of a quest

how I came back

again and again

looking and looking

breathlessly everywhere

tied to a palm tree

while the wine and the sea

battered the longing

out of me


how I saw from the shadows

nailed to a chair

a vision of beauty unencumbered

and heard some music

from the African plains

adorned with a certain effervescence

I noticed a horse

naked and white

trotting through the streets

on his way to Mocambo

to change into a skeleton


on an island in the bay

I found no remains

no victims of  sacrifice

no trace of those rituals

or the eleven Spanish mainsails

only a raft

eaten by crabs

and other members

of the zodiac


I started off

with a frond for an oar

straight into the jaws

of the fortress

where prisoners from London

sat in the dark

talking to their souls

and learning about the damp

while overhead

the sun baked bricks


I built a labyrinth

in the woods

and invented ways

to walk through its walls

I talked to sailors from Borneo

who carried strange artifacts

around their necks

I found places where bats

would be afraid to hide

and little parks

filled with magic

where anything

might be discovered

i met some pirates by the sea

"Su dinero o su vida"

they demanded

"No tengo ninguno dinero"

I replied

"y no vale nada me vida"

they laughed

and put away their knives

they offered me a ride in a boat

to some place down the coast

where pirates dwell in harmony


I abandoned all the usual things

food and shelter

clothing and the company of others

I wandered rudderless

through places only dreamers know

places inappropriate for honeymooners

or people seeking pleasure

I was the only human

on the Earth

a planet no one understood

but me

and then I stopped one night

looking at the stars

and there I was forever

another constellation

fixed in space

found by a fire sculptor

on the beach

I was carried away

to a house made of doors

where sitting in a small oasis

presided over

by the head of a doll


by the timeless aromas

of timeless food

the sounds of hands at work

and voices asking me

to tell my story

I learned a new set of secrets:

how to love

how to walk

how to cast a net

how to taste

the full flavor of sunrise.

Post Your Comments
About This Article Here

Art and Text Selection:
Lissa Tyler Renaud

Share This Page

View other readers’ comments in Letters to the Editor

Scene4 Magazine - David Wiley

David Wiley, painter-poet, exhibits throughout
California and abroad. A book about his work,
The Poetry of Color, is in progress.
To inquire about David Wiley's paintings, click here.
For more of his paintings, poetry and articles,
Check the Archives

Search David Wiley

©2015 David Wiley
©2015 Publication Scene4 Magazine



July/August 2015

Cover | This Issue | Blogs | Comments | Contact Us | Recent Issues | Special Issues | Masthead | Contacts&Links | Submissions | Advertising | Subscribe | Books | Your Support | Privacy | Terms | Archives


Search This ISSUE

Search This Issue


Search The Archives

 Share This Page


Share in Facebook



Scene4 (ISSN 1932-3603), published monthly by Scene4 Magazine - International Magazine of Arts and Culture. Copyright © 2000-2015 AVIAR-DKA LTD - AVIAR MEDIA LLC. All rights reserved. Now in our 15th year of publication with Worldwide Readership in 126 Countries and comprehensive archives of 8500 pages.

Julius Krinski NUDITY - authorized edition -  Scene4 Books/Aviarpress www.aviarpress.com
Hollywood Red: The Autobiography of Lester Cole  ©2013 Scene4 Books  www.aviarpress.com
Character Flaws by Les Marcott at www.aviarpress.com
Bookends by Carla Maria-Verdino Süllwold - Scene4 Magazine - www.scene4.com
Thai Airways at Scene4 Magazine