“These images by a white photographer
of black domestic workers are offensive”
reads the headline on my newsfeed,
two words hanging like death knells
so that the sentence cannot live,
cannot breathe beneath the
crushing pair of opposites
it fails to reconcile.
The portraits are not perfect,
lacking the shades of grey
also missing in the headline,
but the function of art
is to bring out the best in us,
reveal the wonder of perception.
That is what the critics
have never understood.
Even the unskilled artist says
“This is my truth, nothing else,
it need not resemble yours.”
But if there is rhythm,
if it is skillfully rendered,
it will have some element of Truth,
an all-too-fleeting moment of
That is what I seek
between the light and dark lines
of a Japanese landscape painting,
opposites used to construct
a complete picture of
the ebb and flow of existence,
photographers and domestic workers
included in the rhythm of it All.
The more I look the more I think
the answers only fit for the
conversations of madmen and shamans
far from religion, race, belief,
where the truth is shattered
into a million different shades
battling back and forth between
the darkness and the light.