City of Gold

Written by: Edmund Siejka

It is not through his hand
Nor his imagination 
That we view the City of Gold
It is through the experiences of the Artist
George Siejka.

I remember George
Only nine, ten years old
Hunched over a small desk
Drawing under poor lighting
Bringing life and dialogue
To comic book characters. 

Art was the escape vehicle
From a mother’s shame
Battling loneliness 
In a working class family
George was a dreamer 
From the very beginning.

Artists have art
But George’s work
Is more than just paint
And brush stokes
On canvas
He creates a vivid image
Remarkable in its realism
In the City of Gold
There is an opening in an 
Old chain link fence
Space barely large enough 
For a hand to reach out
Or press a face against cold steel
For a glimpse 
Of a restless city
Just a river away.

Some say it’s easier to walk on water 
Than to live in the City of Gold.

The panting is stark
Representing those who look in from the outside
From places like Brooklyn
Where people live with modest dreams
And face
And death 
As close companions
It is also a place where the young,
Strong and independent,
Are not afraid
To cross boundaries
Or face life
A rusted fence
Will not stand in their way
They will make it
To the other side 
Past the City of Gold 
And beyond.