The Eccentric Eye

(Salute to Peter Beard)


 Once an illustrious jetsetter,

A graduate from Yale,

You think oneís life could not be better

To be found on the best dressed list

Yet, evidently, not for him!


Fine gear reduced to a pair of sandals

Four seasons fitting one plain coat

A faithful mate, a piercing camera,

Took over his forsaken world

With lenses focused on the road.


Big-hearted lover of the fauna

His snapshots fought against the cruelty

Of hunted rhinos, cheetahs, crocodiles

Slain for their hides and aphrodisiacs;

Blood all over his printed rolls...


Dali, Picasso, Andy Warhol,

Bardot, John Jr. and Jackie O,

Iman and Dickenson among his trophies,

Sir Jagger and Blixen mounted his horde;

A gang of models camped in Montauk.


He tried the death chair at San Quentin,

Relaxed inside the caimanís jaws,

Stomped by the feet of a rampant elephant

But suffered more from a bouncerís blow;

His diaries are odd and raw.


A man without breaks or fear

An artist enduring his burning lens

Renowned photographer, Peter Beard

Who made his books a rare breed.


Once an illustrious jetsetter,

He honorably described himself,

ďA parasite of subject matter,Ē

With harrowing disdain for wealth;

His precious prints are collected nectar.




Amidst peninsulas of Scylla and Charibda
On the foamy crest of sunny waves,
the marvelous sirens
composing sonnets
and choking with chuckles
Laying wax mermaids.
Sweet songs lured sailors to their demise
with crystal sound, clear as the salty tears
of women who lost their men to the seas,
It's their tears the ocean spumes and whirls.
In my emerald eyes
you may catch a whirlpool of surf
where souls once drown,
slipped off the earth.
Follow my opiate voice, a naval almighty;
Set free your fright;
it's me, Aphrodite!


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Sentinel Poetry #32