Voice of the Bedouin
after viewing John Singer Sargent’s painting, The Bedouin
How you captured my eyes, John.
You will follow their gaze
through Ottoman lands,
traveling like a nomad
with your white-skinned goum,
knowing only what you see:
skin, dark against
cream of fabric,
lips parted in question,
You do not take what I give you.
These rules between our eyes are fixed.
Here we own each other,
painter and painted.
Vanessa Zimmer- Powell, Top Honors, Friendswood Library
Vanessa Zimmer-Powell was the winner of the 2016 Houston Poetry Fest ekphrastic competition. In 2013 she won a Rick Steve's Haiku Award and received honors at the Austin International Poetry Fest. Her poetry has aired on the radio and has been published in a variety of journals and anthologies including: Austin Poetry Fest anthologies; Avocet; Blue Hole; Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems; Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review; Chaffey Review; Copperfield Review; Ekphrasis; Houston Poetry Fest Anthologies; San Pedro River Review; the Texas Poetry Calendar; and Untamable City. Her chapbook, Woman Looks into an Eye, is published by Dancing Girl Press.