Harry Newman


Denver, NY

Last Woods 43

Photograph taken and provided by Harry Newman

for that first year she told me
she could only paint with black
broad strokes more like sketching
she saw only in outline an empty
world of edges white showing
through where bodies should be

in the studio she showed me
the one canvas from that time
she kept a stag head turned
as if startled caught before flight
like a cave painting all black
lines its long circle body empty

painting follows painting she places
them over each other to show me
backgrounds quicken earth trees
water appear the world empty
no longer regains density colors rise
browns greens reds replacing black

still dark the next morning we walk
to a river the scene she’s painted
more than any other the forest black
mist caught above the water empty
otherwise here she tried to tell me
it can all come back it all comes back


Harry Newman’s poetry has appeared in Rattle, Chautauqua, Ecotone, Asheville Poetry Review, and The New Guard, among many other journals. His poems have been nominated twice for Pushcart Prizes, shortlisted twice for the Bridport Prize in England, and chosen as finalists for the William Stafford Award and the Knightville Poetry Prize. Also a photographer, Newman’s work has been shown in galleries and exhibitions in New York and around the country and is in institutional and personal collections across the U.S.

One Reply to “Returning”

  1. C. Connor Syrewicz says:

    Thank you for this. My family owns a geodesic dome-home in Denver, NY and this really took me back there.