The Model

Isabella (2)

Isabella With a Red Rose

In Vino Veritas


“What is love?” you ask, staring at the empty glass:

“Diamonds, gold -or baubles made of tarnished brass

Or satin lace, the stature of a polished class?”

And in the hollow of your glass, your reflection;

Sad-eyed, you pause to ponder your recollection

And deep within your thoughts their soft refraction;

On the glass they cling, their substance gaining traction.

You look at me & smile & say, “Love is action!”


Your heart’s within the glass, its sides stained red with wine

And clinging to its sides, your color of divine;

Feelings, long dissolved in harvest of the autumn vine.

“Though love autumn’s grapes, you know I must combine”.

And from your glistening eyes I see a Chablis tear

Mixed with salt, a taste of love –and a dash of lingering fear.

And sliding down your hallowed cheek a Pearl-tear stops to pause

To reflect upon your life & its sundry flaws

That appear like beasts of burden & mans’ controlling laws.

[ iii ]

I reach across to fill your glass, the red raised to the brim

And in the dimming light, your eyes above its rim

Showing all your thoughts, tho’ sometimes but a whim.

“Who’s in your thoughts, my dear”, I ask: “Is it me or him?”

[ iv ]

You hold your glass aloft & stare beyond its shape

That bends a beam of light that rests upon your cape;

Restless, tho’, it dances & lights your stiffened lips

As you stare at the glass while taking petite sips

That mingle with the glass & show the shape’s ellipse

While your heart & mind form a brief eclipse.

Like the tears upon your cheek, away the moment drips

One-by-one, in a line, away your memory slips.


[ ix ]

Languidly you shift again & look me in the eye 

And in your solemn stare your angst you mollify

To wash away your pain; its chase you must defy

To banish all of it before your tears can dry.


And in your eyes a glow -that flashes off & on

Like a clouded moon followed by a rosy dawn

But in between the two the memories burst & spawn

From the inky deep: one-by-one they are withdrawn

Like the constellations & dark they shine upon.

And in your mind the switch -you place your will upon.


How solemnly you stare; you look off into space;

Your journey’s painted on -the dark side of your face;

The shadows of your fears, a hint -the faintest trace;

You cannot run & hide; your eyes they do embrace;

You cannot hide or run; I say this just in case

You turn around & run -& leave me in this place.


As you sip the wine, “please tell me what you’re thinking.”

A mirror of your face, it’s in your solemn smile

“Our midnight on the beach -or what it is you’re drinking?”

(It’s freshly in your thoughts; has it been awhile?)

“Or something else my dear, that sets your eyes a-blinking?”

An hour turns to day; a day turns to a mile

“Can you feel it now; do you have an inkling?

How appears those moments: do they you beguile?”

[ viii ]

And on your trembling lips I see a trace of red,

“Oh think of nothing else; think of me instead;

Please think of something else; please put that thing to bed.”

So silently it rests, no words it need be said,

For on your lips ‘tis writ a solemn poem of love

Each word a bird in flight, a fast departing dove;

As what is seen below, so ‘tis the scene above,

As painted by a muse of art with her velvet glove.

That rests upon the pillow that fell from your soft bed

‘Tis better late than never, your dream is not now dead.


“Remember, dear, that night; we danced upon the beach?

Starlit was the sky; its light shined in us each

And on the distant shore there seemed a chasm’d breach

Oh, one so far away, impossible to reach;

One so deep & drawing; one so far away

Like a moonlit field, so golden was its hay

In which a baying dog -so mournful was its bay

And of the darkened night, the morning its decay.

“Can we return to dance; for this I duly pray

Let’s bring back the night, the darkness in the day”.

[ x ]

Silence spills upon us, its center’s but a void

But formless naught my dear; its shape ‘tis ellipsoid

And open to our love that soon shall be deployed

Like the deepest sea -on which fate’s ships are buoyed.

[ xi ]

I stare at your red lips, the way they pout & part;

The way you slide your tongue, a most developed art.

“But what’s its latent source, your nature or your heart?”

-A talent you developed from your infant start.

The question I now pose; the horse before the cart?

But I did catch the meaning: Cupid’s well-aimed dart.

[ xii ]

Again you look at me; some words you try to speak

About those memories past & what you tried to seek

From me since those times:  a life, a year -a week;

Oh, blessed are the weary; blessed are the weak. 

[ xiii ]

Lazily the fan above, it stirs your auburn hair;

And on your brow ‘tis writ your present moment’s care;

And in your eyes your thoughts, the threads are laid most bare;

And ‘pon your brow are lines soft etched; you, with a frozen stare.

Not spoken yet your words, they float upon the air

And circling with the fan, a fly & your despair.

(And posing in my thoughts: what makes your nostrils flare?)


And with a taste of this red wine, you mouth your moment’s prayer.

Oh, from your lips the words, they flow like strands of silk,

A moment when we laughed ensemble, a time but now spilt milk;

A time you fell in love, a story of that ilk.

That time from you ‘tis torn, time from love’s moment’s bilk’d.

[ xiv ]

“Remember, dear, that night -the time we were in France?

‘Twas when we tried again; we tried a second chance

Self-portraits of our lives, we took another glance

To keep us on our feet; to keep us in the dance,

And like the clouds above, to broaden our expanse?”

Another glaze of paint, our portraits to enhance.  

[ xv ]

And with the taste of this red wine you mouth this moment’s prayer,

And from your mouth the words, they flowed like strands of silk,

A moment when we laughed ensemble, a time but now spilt milk

A time you fell in love; a story of that ilk…


****** con’t



The Model

[ i ]

The times had come; the times had gone,

My memories, you standing on

The pedestal that I had painted,

Memories a long time fainted,

Not a one remotely tainted,

Just you, my dear, who’s by me sainted.


In my dark & inner chapel,

Where I work with brush & scalpel

Creating you with some lament

You, whom gods had briefly sent

To alter me, my just fate bent,

An altered path I’ll not resent.


Oh, memories of you lying there,

The softness of our sultry lair

Your curling waves, your chestnut hair

And satin robe, a patch thread-bare,

Your dreamy eyes; your longing stare

In candle light & torch’s flare

A work of art, an artist’s prayer,

One lead to me by your soothsayer.


Skimmed over by my painter’s brush

Like I stacked the pillows plush

And from my strokes the colors lush

A time that lacks a certain rush,

Created then a quickened hush;

And captures your endearing blush.


Though long ago it seems like now,

The drifting times we did allow,

When I could see your furrowed brow,

Your falling hair & oh, just how

Your chestnut hair cascades in waves

And forms your secret dreamy caves

That turn men into doting knaves

And women into transfixed slaves.

Not one of us, you know, behaves

‘Cause all in us your beauty craves.


Alas! Your power over me

-Your graceful neck & sculpted knee

Your fragrance of a fleur-de-lys,

Oh, do the gods reside in thee?

(Who’s the other? Just who is he?

A doting god -a bit like me?)


You come & go; you fade away

And in my thoughts you seem not stay

Listen now! Stilled moments, nay?

Now turn your head & look away.


My loss of you I oft be-grieve

Oh, memories in my heart doth seethe;

‘Twas something I could not conceive

From in its haunts there’s no reprieve.

You, in my mind my visions weave

(You laying there, your satin sleeve)

Your pulsing breath I’ll always breathe,

Your portrait, dear, that won’t take leave

Adam – I - and you are Eve!”


And now I lay me down to sleep,

Your portraits, dear, I promise keep

My pulsing heart profoundly deep

Into my heart they’ll surely seep

-And slowly let them stir & weep.


“Please look that way; please raise that leg;

Now stay that way I duly beg;

Your promise, dear, please don’t renege

My sanity on you I peg.”


“Oh, raise it high; please raise thine arm

As if a gesture of alarm,

As if you would with pending harm

Without your talisman, your charm,

All blended to a soothing balm

-Or chanting of a calming psalm.


I ask thee now; ‘tis my bequest:

Within your robe, its rightful nest,

Please bare to me your nubile breast

And bare to me your very best

Extend for me a graceful gest

So I can’t put my heart to rest.

[Jkh 2013 c,]



Model B

She, standing in the golden light

With auburn hair now pulled back tight

In balanced pose that’s off-set, slight

And tilted towards the distant right

Where blurs my vision, saps my sight

But forms her shape to my delight.


Her hair’s much different than last night

When spread upon the pillow white

It shimmered towards illusion’d height

To Heaven-high, imagined kite

That wavered dark with goddess’ might

And pulled me up without a fight

Or slightest hint of phobic fright

Or peril-laced nocturnal plight

But where she shimmered moonlit bright

-A lady, she, a socialite

And oh, so lovely; yes, she’s quite.

{ jkh 3-10-2013 }


Bistrot, Chicago

Red Bistrot, Chicago

Moment [xvii]

[ i.]  The loss of you that pass'd moment

When winds had ceased & time seemed bent

A time on loan; a moment lent,

A cherished time the gods had sent.


Of fleeting time -just what is meant?

(When time seems stilled, 'tis just a feint)

Before our eyes away it went!

When painting you was my intent.


[ ii.]  Oh, in my dreams -you standing there

With golden locks & skin so fair,

Your head dipped low, your shoulders bare;

To you said I: “Strip! Do you dare?”

With look forlorn, you did not care;

Removed thine blouse with graceful flare

And then thine skirt, layer by layer

That caused my heart to wither there.


In burning sun & humid air

An actress, dear, a seasoned player

Who plays with time & from it tear

The memories of our sultry lair.

[ Jkh 2011 ]

© Jack Hannula 2013