I obsessively alter minutia
thinking tonight’s brush stroke
might fix  my odd composition
of tower windows reflecting
sea and islands, opening into dark  interiors.

Why are most landscapes so empty?
is nature so divorced from us –
untrammeled dream illustrations —
that dirty handed man should not appear
in abstractions of love,  in light and color.


Year after year my paintings pile up
crowd the walls, scream for attention.


Van Gogh rendered miner’s boots
cracked and worn, black and brown —
before color lifted
his evangelistic despair
into brilliant seas of grass.


Edvard Munch’s red angst–
She in a dark wood dream
hands against her ears,
screams   –


Damian Hirst breaking convention
repeals all light and color
with dark, rotting bug abstractions,
elephant dung and the crucifixion,
with sights and smell appalling
evokes a worried  introspection.
How far from beauty have we come,
what seed hides in dung?


Pizzazz – gladiators in the flicks,
chariots crashing around the pylons,
Hur diving between his horses.
Imagine Gable’s million-dollar gams
from ‘Pin Up Girl’, painted on B17s.

In the eighties,
alone in the Uffizi’s Botticelli room,*
I entered the Primavera,
and in this eternal dance,
I  remain.

Kent Bowker

*( no tourists, in 1986, ‘Libya  Bomba  Lampadusa,’)

As if I had not raged

As if I had not raged
through years of engineering exactitude
raging against its rigidity
its tight lipped conventions
propping up dubious truths.

I erected walls about my true self;
the dancer on the green,
the flower gatherer,
the dreamer.

The cracks in my wall glowed
enough to attract lovers.
But the protective walls
protected far too much,
and soul death haunted me.

Kent Bowker

Evening Worry

The end of the world didn’t come this year
maybe next if we’d be so unlucky.
We flounder, searching for expressions
to announce our dread of what’s to come.
It is spectacle, hysterical reporting,
politically inspired zealots
on the evening news, keep awake —
boogies, imaginary implants —
supplanting our fear of the woodchuck
rummaging in our  garden.

Kent Bowker