VAN GOGH’S WHITE ROAD
After A Road in Auvers After the Rain
by Vincent Van Gogh, 1890
After rain is always fresh.
Clouds address the sky in
ceaseless foldings and
Houses shine in the wet light.
Red roofs and blue windows
stand out like paintings. The earth is ready again.
Trees are especially
of the rain,
The view is vast—
extends beyond time
now that time has passed—
turns into now, like today’s rain,
the same rain,
the same intensity
of everything after rain.
A rural white road
an arrow under moonlight.
IMAGES OF WHITE
After Cover Painting: The Falcon by Michael P. Berman
from Groom Falconer: Poems by Norman Dubie
holding the white moon to his genitals,
the mute savant wishes a look could reach…
holding a white dove to her heart,
a loveless woman wishes her heart could cure…
holding a white fire to its mind
a stillborn soul wishes its life could melt…
After Dry Paints by Pyotr Konchalovsky, 1913
—and is not
in agreement here :
these pots and jars
of dried-out color,
appealing enough to arrest the eye itself.
—A Still Life
crowding space, as if
to suggest random shape
which darkens, as if
this is their story or their last,
covered now with time and closed intent.
After Landscape from a Dream
by Paul Nash, 1936-38
It’s not that I love this dream, but I can’t get through the
mirror to the sea. The sky is a flat and painted blue, and
a huge white cloud is in the way. A pane of glass becomes
a cage. A boulder of fire creates a second, retributive sky—
blood red and near—and a lone dark gull is flying right at me.
A frame of fear surrounds it all and I don’t know what to do—
I can’t awake, and I cannot sleep. Mirrored in metamorphosis,
I am turning to a fear myself : My own face holds my feathered
face. My arms have turned to wings. My shoulders hurt, and my
mouth is cruel. My frozen eyes do not believe this metaphor, of
which I am both abstract mystery and indefinable clue.
THE GULL AS SYMBOL TO THE POET
A gull is lost in London fog.
and around the anchored boats
that merge in the atmosphere
and barely shudder . . .
is a white flash
of something alien
to this lost place for a gull to be
and is the only one . . .
I’ve seen its painting
on the canvas of a painter
who has proven with his eyes
the feel of fog that permeates
the sea-born heart and spirit of
all followers who love such art.
THE CONSPIRACY OF ART
After Winifred, Duchess of Portland
by Philip de László, 1912
Winifred is everywhere, image after image:
on the gallery hall, on the painter’s wall.
Shadows love her—she is perfect—perfect
as Love. Love is stricken by her smile. Her
smile is secret.
Frames would hold her, she denies
this. Soft light is open to her guile. Time—
receding at it does—complies with every
nuance of her breathing; her gowns drape
softly, timeless, ageless—know her moves.
Mirrors possess her.
Philip is innocent of this, her true
admirer, her one viewer. He thinks he
captures every essence of her beauty. He
dies without her—years away. Fame will
keep her as she was—never whilst—and
never when. She is now as she was then.
MUSING AT THE MUSEUM
to the canny eye—
pose to pose, and stance to stance,
the observer observes the painting—
and poses back.
OIL PAINT ON BUTCHER PAPER
After Elizabeth Doran
—the oil paint on butcher paper
at the pouring
spreading into the vague pattern
with the persistent yellows
the orange clumps together,
the butcher paper
receives the abstract depictions
does not dry
form into a masterpiece.
I hated this one immediately : bisque with
painted-on marcelled hair and fixed brown eyes.
It looked at me, its blond face featureless.
But I said thank you and sat it on a chair where it
slipped sideways and went rigid with not belonging.
I don’t remember ever touching it again.
Our thanks to Joyce Odam for today’s colorful poems and pix, painting for us in words and colors after our Seed of the Week: Painting. Our new Seed of the Week is Rebirth, as we hover on the cusp of spring like the songbirds outside my window. Send your poems, photos & artwork about this (or any other) subject to firstname.lastname@example.org. No deadline on SOWs, though, and for a peek at our past ones, click on “Calliope’s Closet”, the link at the top of this column, for plenty of others to choose from.
•••Van Gogh's A Road in Auvers: www.artrussia.ru/en/picture_rarity/257
•••Dubie’s Groom Falconer cover: www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-393-02662-7
•••Dry Paints by Konchalovsky: www.reddit.com/r/museum/comments/7ritul/pyotr_konchalovsky_dry_paints_1913
•••Nash’s Landscape from a Dream: www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/nash-landscape-from-a-dream-n05667
•••Laszlo’s Winifred, Duchess of Portland: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winifred_Cavendish-Bentinck,_Duchess_of_Portland
Celebrate poetry—and rebirth!
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