Sunday, August 06, 2006

At The Gates

At The Gates, Joan Z. Rough ©1998

I was just going through some boxes today and found this photo taken a number of years ago just after I'd given myself a birthday present of a plastic toy camera. I was experimenting with all kinds of cameras and liked the funky kind of images I could get with this one ... kind of out of focus ... sometimes lots of light leaks ... every image a surprise.

I had been very intrigued with a strange concrete pottery shop nearby and thought it would be a fun place to use this particular camera. So there I went and spent a whole afternoon photographing the place, all the time feeling that somehow these concrete beings were people frozen in time, standing at the gates of heaven, waiting to be let in. The following poem came from this particular place, time and image.

At The Gates

Concrete figures
stand in line eager
to pass through gates
opening beyond
the edge of sight

Sallow women offer doves
lean toward the assumption
of an unseen God

Rising above the rest
two empty vessels depict
His son one with arms
outstretched the other's limbs
lost in the crush for salvation

On the roof of the terminal
Santa waits for the word
stands in a sulky drawn
by four scrawny reindeer
an ailing softdrink machine
recites the twenty-third psalm


1 comment:

Becca said...

This is a very surreal looking image. All those concrete women look like they're ready to charge the bargain basement at Macy's, and God is waiting to say "Go!"

I like Santa up there on the roof, "waiting for the word!"