I love this poem.

The solitude piece works for me, for what it’s worth:

Solitude is a burrow
into which you fold yourself
like a letter into an envelope

who wouldn’t want

to lose himself in
an unmarked grave
excavated by indifferent beasts?

makes a poem of its own, but book-ending the rest and in response to the (beautiful!) painting, I think these stanzas create a much deeper and more interesting exploration of aloneness in all its dimensions, chosen and not.

I did not follow the link until after I allowed my own reaction to the poem/painting dialogue resonating with my own experience, so perhaps that article complicates: that monkey research – which is described very gently and subtly in that article – followed by the human analogy, is the stuff of horror and cruelty. I think pairing it with the poem & painting limits the emotional experience and personal projection available to the reader of the poem and establishes one context for reaction rather than leaving it open.

And, I think people should read that article. Just perhaps not with the poem – ? Dunno. One reaction, anyway.

Beautiful work, Dave.