Portrait of a Woman | David Wiley | Scene4 Magazine | Novemberr 2020 | www.scene4.com

Portrait of a Woman


The Art of David Wiley


For Those to Come


Where is the world

        that we used to know?

Where is the one pure being?

Where are the millions unknown

        who will always be unknown,

the millions alone

        who will always be alone.

the millions who will die

        and be forgotten,

the infinite unborn?




Where is our science?

Where are the thinkers?

Where are the doers?

Where is Gunga Din now?

You are right, Li Po,

only the great drinkers are left,

only the inebriate souls

who come down from the mountain

once in a decade

to gaze at the mess

they have not quite forgotten,

to drink from the stream

that has lost its voice

and its clarity.


Only the well-decorated children

        in soap operas

        now decide our fate

already written in the early morning

before ten o'clock — Oh God!

Give me the real time,

        give me the luscious imaginary scenarios

        of an age

        I might have been born in

if I had been lucky

if I had known the proper hours

         or the skeletons

        in my late night wanderings.


If only I had known you

        in a previous life

staggering around

        in the Montparnasse Cemetery

looking for the tomb

        of the Poet,

looking for the final presentation.

Looking for the last Olympics

        of your eyes.


Waiting for one more blast

        from the horn of plenty.

You have not yet begun

        to know Homeric principles,

you have not yet touched

        all the fine music

that fills my shoes with laughter.

You have not yet begun

        to see me with my branches

        and my leaves

        and the occasional blossom

        sprouting from beneath

        my awkward feet.


I await your strange presence

I await your final analysis,

I sing as I stand

        in the shadow

        of your ghostly logic;

I will never devour you.

We will sing together

        and cover the latitudes

        like a colony of petrels,

and never stop.

We will know our childhood

        for the first time,

we will dance upon the graves

        of all our dead heroes

and tell them finally to get lost.


We will press the buttons

        that will take us to another


        where music is a way of life.

We will take ourselves to the outer rings

        and beyond,

and paint something dramatic.


Oh Beauty!   Give us this moment

        to be another animal

        within another place

        with EYES!

        and see YOU once again

        as the perfect parent

        YOU might have been.

Oh Beauty! Take me once more

         to the far places of the soul.

You will comfort me

        I know

in the wine blossom

cherry-crushing universe

        of eternal becoming

the universe of hummingbirds

and dreams and honey.

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Scene4 Magazine - David Wiley | www.scene4.com

David Wiley, painter-poet: graduate of U. Kansas; studied at Mexico City College and with artist Ignacio Belen in Barcelona. Widely traveled, he exhibits throughout California and abroad. Wiley has published two volumes of poetry: Designs for a Utopian Zoo (1992) and The Face of Creation (1996). Since 2005, he has received large mural commissions in Arizona, Mexico and California. He is a longtime contributor to Scene4 : paintings, poems, meditations on art, creative fiction and non-fiction. To inquire about his paintings, click here.
For more of his paintings, poetry and writings, check the

©2020 David Wiley
©2020 Publication Scene4 Magazine


Art and Poetry Selection:
Lissa Tyler Renaud



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