RIP Lawrence Ferlinghetti

RIP Lawrence Ferlinghetti, 1919-2021

“The Moving Waters of Gustav Klimt” — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

“The Moving Waters of Gustav Klimt,” a poem by Lawrence Ferlinghetti —

Who are they then
these women in this painting
seen so deeply long ago
Models he slept with
or lovers or others
he came upon
catching them as they were
back then
dreamt sleepers
on moving waters
eyes wide open
purple hair streaming
over alabaster bodies
in lavender currents

Dark skein of hair blown back
from a darkened face
an arm flung out
a mouth half open
a hand
cupping its own breast
rapt dreamers
or stoned realists
drifting motionless
lost sisters or
with themselves or others –
pale bodies wrapt
in the night of women
lapt in light
in ground swells of
dreamt desire
dreamt delight

Still strangers to us
yet not
in that first night
in which we lose ourselves

And know each other