October 2023

A Delicate Balance


The Art of David Wiley


The Orient

The old man who sold hats,
with a thousand lines per square inch
connecting the vast regions of his face,
might have come, we used to think,
from another planet, or at least
from another time on Earth.

First of all, we couldn't understand his words,
although people said he spoke our language.
It was a trick, like doubletalk,
nodding and grinning, two sets of eyes,
one set focused on something far away
that none of us could ever hope to see.

He seemed to be surrounded by a nimbus,
a color never seen in comic books,
and in the trail of the glow a sound
like music gently pursued him.
Each of his teeth was a tiny statue,
one made of gold, all the rest ivory.

During the year of the autumn flood
the old man disappeared, swallowed,
someone said, by a giant carp.
The little stand on Main Street
where he sold his hats was left alone
shrinelike in its emptiness;
and as people passed they often stopped
to look, and even, unaware, to slightly bow.


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Art and Writing Selection
Lissa Tyler Renaud

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, Wiley has received large mural commissions in Arizona, Mexico and California. Wiley is a longtime contributor to Scene4: paintings, poems, meditations on art, creative non-fiction.
To inquire about his paintings, click here.
For more of his paintings, poetry and writings, check the Archives.

©2023 David Wiley
©2023 Publication Scene4 Magazine




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