White Cloud by Caley O’Dwyer

After Mark Rothko (see images here)

We are driving on a white road.
We know it cannot go on forever
and yet that is what it is doing,
brightening and widening,

widening till there is no more
road, just land and sky,
sky and lightly penciled stars,
hills and bones and Dairy Queens.

We must be in Texas, so wide
is the way, so sure the clouds,
their heavy, slow progress,
giant hands gliding the earth.

We are counting grain elevators,
wandering cattle, emptied out
swimming pools, the little girl
under the goalpost fumbling

into the future, where she’ll find
it is not too late to think again
what will I do with this life,
where shall I begin?

Caley O'Dwyer
Caley_3Caley O’Dwyer teaches psychology and creative writing at Antioch University Los Angeles and creative writing in the Master of Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California. His poems appear in Alaska Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, Cream City Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Washington Square, and others venues, including the Tate Modern Museum in London. He is a winner of an Academy of American Poets Prize, a two-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize, and a recipient of a Helene Wurlitzer grant for poetry. His first book, Full Nova, was published by Orchises Press, and his second, in progress collection, Light, Earth and Blue, features poems written in response to the abstract expressionist paintings of Mark Rothko. He is also working on a novel called The Hollywood Kid.