The Little Blue Horses

Bold swoops of color, the canvas filled
by three muscular blue animals,
round haunches foreshortened
black manes trace their curved necks.

Grazing a bright yellow and green field,
heads tucked, shy, they do not gaze at the viewer.
Pure potential energy of the new century
before the war. The artist died at Verdun.

A quarter century later: Munich,
an exhibit of “degenerate art” hosted by Hitler.
“Die Kleinen blauen Pferde” shown
with works by other artists. Verboten.

Picture Nazis angry about a painting
of blue horses by Franz Marc.
Goebbels and his ilk upset by horses
the wrong color. Imagine the danger.


Pat Tompkins is an editor in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her poems have appeared in flashquake, Astropoetica, the Heron’s Nest, and other publications.