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.

Ω

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.