The Art of David Wiley | At the Start of the Grand Canal 1 | Scene4 Magazine | September 2016 | The Art of David Wiley | At the Start of the Grand Canal 2 | Scene4 Magazine | September 2016 |

At the Start of the Grand Canal
1 & 2

The Art of David Wiley

Bridges to the Arsenal


I've seen the low sun


        nodding into the night


        across the water


I've seen the saints gathered


        for one last laugh


       before turning into light


I’ve heard Vivaldi


       snapping his fingers   


        as he danced a jig


        in the Campo Manin


        the echoes of revelry


        pouring through a labyrinth


        illuminated by a thousand shadows


        every golden tile


        winking at the awe of strangers


We have been invited by ghosts


        to listen to the heartbeat


        of Byzantium


to witness the coming


        of the flood


to walk into the life


        of the past


to see the splendor of imagination


to bow to the winged lion


        about to launch himself


        into the skies


        above a fleet of violins


to inhale the sea and a city


         at the same time


to feel the polished marble


        where fantastic humans


        laid their hands


        a thousand years ago


to climb the stairs


        of a bell tower


        fashioned by a man


        with a multitude of heads


to stop in an alley


        where a troll lives


        in perfect happiness


to find a statue of myself


        at the end of a long walk


        through a tunnel to nowhere


to be kissed by an angel


        when all is lost


to find another stairway


        to some perfect place


        with a window


        overlooking the world itself


to pursue beauty and mystery


         over bridges and water


        through ancient streets


        without end or purpose


to be alive in a maze


        filled with spirits


        who peer at you


        from niches in the walls


        and make no sound at all


to struggle with the lives of artists


        who gave everything


         to decorate the ceilings of rooms


to be an ingredient


        in the European stew


        and wonder who will taste you


        and where you will end up


to be a remnant of yourself


        walking across the pages


        of a history you never knew


to see space and walls


        for the first time


to collect the outer edges of yourself


        in one grand sweep


to look into the haunted houses


        of your mind


to believe once and for all


        that fantasy does exist


to go into the bowels of civilization


        and emerge steaming


I want to take one of those boats


        to a mysterious palace


I want to emerge


        on the waterworn steps


        of an Arabesque place


        where a princess from Arbagoogoo


        lives with a host of devoted courtiers


I want to hear that final


        ring of your bells


        in the middle of the night


I want to know


        how you toiled and played


        how long you looked in your mirrors


how you became elements


        nurtured by the contemplation


         of forms


how you found the world


        standing in one square


        and brought it to you


how you  built these monuments


        to your incredible ego


how you became so tastefully mad


how you conquered the world


        in your own way


how you sang and danced yourself


        into oblivion


I want to know why


        you die so gracefully


        without complaint


        too wise to think


        that you are anything but human.


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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

©2016 David Wiley
©2016 Publication Scene4 Magazine




Volume 17 Issue 4

September 2016

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