As the wind builds dunes
— a poem by Charles F. Thielman

You prep this canvas, painting it black,
leaving indigo and cobalt blue
for the approach to foreground.

Walking your nerve-into-muscle hinges
around each trained urge to irrigate
what is with what is wanted,    
constructions of thought being infamous
for planting balsa inside reach, today’s truth
like a spider's web stretched over a mirror.

If only you could be ambidextrous
after waking at 4 a.m.
carrying the colors of a dream,
night sky starred silent, oak branches
ready to sweat wings into shallow skies.

You paint quickly, with muscular strokes,
as a distant wind builds dunes, letting
this sable brush follow what speaks
between mind and pulse.

Your eyes to hold one memory
beside canvas, your long glance
of Laotian women gardening atop
a freeway ravine, their bodies
moving as if deaf to the hiss of transit,

refugees in their native dress, they bend
and rise, step, bend and rise
while reaching into a seed sack,
planting what will grow.

Charles F. Thielman was Born and raised in Charleston, S.C., moved to Chicago, educated at red-bricked universities and on city streets. He has enjoyed working as a counselor, truck driver, city bus driver and enthused bookstore clerk. You can find a video of his reading at Tsunami Books here.  His work has been published in such The Pedestal, Gargoyle, Poetry365, Pif Magazine,  The Criterion [India], Poetry Salzburg [Austria], The Oyez Review, Windfall [Oregon], Muse, Battered Suitcase, Poetry Kanto [Japan], Open Road, Poetry Kit and Pastiche [England], Belle Reve, Tiger’s Eye and Rusty Nail. His chapbook, “Into the Owl-Dreamed Night” is available through Uttered Chaos Press at