DELFT LIGHT

on a candy wrapper glittering in the road


Was it really different for Vermeer
To light his subjects so they appear

As electrons do, to televise
His cinematic, Delphic skies,

Like Johansson’s silhouette
Backlit on our TV set,

As if, like light, he knew
The subliminal designs we view,

The way that Firth’s movie idol stare
Finds a corollary in a pear,

A mirror of the day’s bright light
Rendering the day around it trite,

A tiny detail painted lush
By the summer’s stained-glass brush

That focuses the planet’s common lot
On this humble backroad spot,

The way a TV is dead space
Where current gathers in one place,

Revelling in our rapt attention
Like a news-addicted gentian,

When, nearing our own screenplay’s star,
We discover it’s a candy bar,

An industrial facsimile
As seen, apparently, on TV,

Our couch potato gaze still fixed
On its fickle, shrink-wrapped sticks,

Where the shining air takes root
In the director’s lucid fruit,

The sky’s reflected cathode rays
Bouncing off the fat free blaze

Of that dietetic solar clone
Where the prism of the world is shown,

Which, rather than a passing quirk,
Is the point of the entire work?