Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Chapbook — Poem For My Brother

In the Fall, oak leaves blew as we
in the courtyard of the Art Institute.
It was afternoon now,
and my brother drew in charcoal.

In the morning we had flittered in the galleries,
and lighted on a van Gogh,
and pecked Vincent’s chairs of straw.
We whisked away;
we were afraid of Vincent’s fields,
and broad strips of hammered spell.
We fell into a Chagall
and I saw my brother bow his head
in a reverence of night.

Then, out again.
I followed my brother,
I did as he.
I bent in wheat and held a scythe,
or watching him, made merry like a star.
I reached as he, eyes shut, to grace.
Now I sat in the falling day
and watched him sketch,
the leaves identical as we.

— Charles Bane, Jr.

Charles Bane, Jr believes in the Bar None Group credo espoused by co-founder Russell Rosander, "Art which is not shared withers and dies." To that end, he has graciously allowed us to serialize his 2011 volume of poetry The Chapbook (Curbside Splendor). Join us on this year-long journey as we share and explore Charles' passion — his poetry — with you, our readers, on alternate Tuesdays.

In this second installment we look at Charles' Poem for my Brother for the moods it evokes, in us, the reader. From the poem's setting at the Art Institute of Chicago, the changing season, the love of a brother and the leaves that are falling from the trees too quickly. We are also aware that Chicago's Expo Artweek began yesterday and it may be time for us to once more light on a van Gogh and fall into a Chagall.

Along with The Chapbook, Charles is the author of Love Poems (Kelsay Books, 2014). His work has been described in the Huffington Post as "not only standing on the shoulders of giants, but shrinking them."  He is also the creator of the Meaning of Poetry series for The Gutenberg Project and is a current nominee as Poet Laureate of Florida. A new collection of poetry, The Ends Of The Earth is currently taking shape.

We thank Charles for his continuing contributions.