The Masterpiece of Nothing

Can you see the picture?

Maybe.
But it’s only a smudged sketch,
A half thought out drawing.
It’s no painting:
Framed, technicolour,
Hung for gallery exhibition,
Fraudulent copies made of,
Art heist kind of stuff, is it?

No.
Just a charcoal outline
Misinterpreted
Painfully.

A masterpiece of self-deception,
Makes out it’s something that it’s not,
From a distance.
But get close up.
Get.Close.Up.
And you see

It’s just rubbish
Really

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A Little Tragedy

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The alarm went this morning, early, and the light was gently creeping under the curtains. You were warm beside me and I didn’t want to leave. It made me think of this scene from ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and had I been able to remember the exact words, I would have spoken them to you…

JULIET
Wilt thou be gone? it is not yet near day:
It was the nightingale, and not the lark,
That pierced the fearful hollow of thine ear;
Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate-tree:
Believe me, love, it was the nightingale.

ROMEO
It was the lark, the herald of the morn,
No nightingale: look, love, what envious streaks
Do lace the severing clouds in yonder east:
Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day
Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops.
I must be gone and live, or stay and die.

JULIET
Yon light is not day-light, I know it, I:
It is some meteor that the sun exhales,
To be to thee this night a torch-bearer,
And light thee on thy way to Mantua:
Therefore stay yet; thou need’st not to be gone.

ROMEO
Let me be ta’en, let me be put to death;
I am content, so thou wilt have it so.
I’ll say yon grey is not the morning’s eye,
‘Tis but the pale reflex of Cynthia’s brow;
Nor that is not the lark, whose notes do beat
The vaulty heaven so high above our heads:
I have more care to stay than will to go:
Come, death, and welcome! Juliet wills it so.
How is’t, my soul? let’s talk; it is not day.F39EDEC7-A7F7-4ACC-A2E0-CCAEDA7DF003.jpeg

La Rosa Separada

An Easter Island poem for Easter time by a poet whose timeless poems are fascinating for their beauty and their power.

La Rosa Separada – a translation of poem 1

Easter Island and Pablo Neruda

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I

Today is that day, the day that carried
a desperate light that since has died.
Don’t let the squatters know:
let’s keep it all between us,
day, between your bell
and my secret.

Today is dead winter in the forgotten land
that comes to visit me, with a cross on the map
and a volcano in the snow, to return to me,
to return again the water
fallen on the roof of my childhood.
Today when the sun began with its shafts
to tell the story, so clear, so old,
the slanting rain fell like a sword,
the rain my hard heart welcomes.

You, my love, still asleep in August,
my queen, my woman, my vastness, my geography
kiss of mud, the carbon-coated zither,
you, vestment of my persistent song,
today you are reborn again and with the sky’s
black water confuse me and compel me:
I must renew my bones in your kingdom,
I must still uncloud my earthly duties.

Self-Portrait at 38 BY JENNIFER TONGE

There are lots of ways in which I can relate to the speaker of this poem who thinks that Courbet ‘might capture’ her. I’d like to think he’d paint me as ‘L’origine du Monde’:A scandalous gift for someone important to keep hidden behind a green curtain.

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An unused portion of ‘L’origine du Monde’ by Gustav Courbet

Hair still Titian,
but Botticelli’s grip has loosened—

not now Rubenesque,
and probably never;

Ingres approaches,
but Courbet might capture me.

Could I be surreal?
It seems almost likely—

bells in my ears
and fortresses under;

cones have been set on my eyes.
My spring is gone

and summer’s upon me,
rude in its ripening.

I’m espaliered, strung wide and tied,
pinioned, and thus can I fly.

Aloud

I like to say your name aloud.
I love the way it rolls of my tongue, 
To hear the syllables, approximant
In their approximation of my love for you.

Allowed, I would speak your name to anyone who would listen,
Releasing its long vowels and plosives
In explosive declarations of love
That would tell everyone and anyone that 
This man,
This beautiful man, 
Whose name rests impatiently on my lips, 
Is the man I love,
The man I need.
This man,
Is mine.

Aloud, I speak your name
As I walk alone in late evening sun.
I hear it, short and sweet,
Unrounded, closed,
As I disclose wildest dreams
To snag and hang on thorny hedgerows
To wave like prayer flags
For the passing birds and 
Startled fallow deer to hear.

Aloud, I speak your name to the wind,
Allow its pitch and tenor
To be swept away on the wings of warm, invisible currents
And imagine somehow, somewhere,
It will find its way back to you
So you can hear it:
My gentle voice on the breeze
Calling your name softly.

Ripple

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Lilies by Claud Monet, 1916

I want to hear your laughter,
The way its ripples extend out
Into shallow, glittering waves at sunrise
To where I swim naked amongst monet’s lilies,
Until I find myself in the centre,
Circled by circle after circle after never ending circle of
You

The joy
In this quiet moment is
More than anything I can believe possible

I will it to last,
To feel its gentle blue eyed lap against me whenever I swim and
I find I am not afraid to
Be here in this
Lake of mine, of
Yours, with its tangle of reed and hidden depths
That threaten to ensnare the legs
Of loveless bathers.
I know
You will keep me there
In the middle
With your warm wide circles
That could be arms
Or could be smiles
Or could just be.
And
Mine, is the heart that beats
At the centre of it all as
We dance and are
Spun and polished
Going dizzy as we go to that place
Where we can
Be the sunlight flashing on the water and
On soft silver skin
And span, sun spangled out,
Together.

Yellow

It’s the feeling of a yellow sofa,
A blue jumper in winter,
The barley, high in a summer field.
It’s the feeling of eating omelettes
Or strawberries, or chocolate
And listening to your beautiful voice as you sing in that tiny kitchen making tea
But didn’t know I was listening.
It’s the feeling of pub gardens,
Smoking fires and bears,
Wine that I drink whilst I drink you up and become giddy.
It is the feeling of dreams,
The ones I tell you
But more-so the ones I keep secret.
It is the feeling of waking up hoping to hear from you…

Or waking up knowing I’ll see you
And touch you.
It’s the feeling of poetry,
Music,
Art,
Icarus and his wings –
Ticking clocks,
Revolving planets
Universes,
Life, epiphanies
And other stuff and things…

It’s the feeling of you.

The feeling of something so great,
I’m insignificant.

I’m Sorry Elizabeth

Sometimes you need a bit of help with the words…particularly when it’s hard to put just how you feel into words! So thank you EBB. I can only apologise for the butchery of this beautiful poem.

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How do I love you? I couldn’t count the ways.
There is no depth or breadth or height
To my love for you when out of sight,
Only being. Only grace.
I try, and fail, to love you to the level of your everyday’s
Most quiet need, from sun rise to sun spent.
I love you, not freely but, with abandonment,
Not purely, but wickedly, as I wait for your praise.
I love you with the passionate grief,
Of my childhood’s broken faith,
The more than love, I seemed to lose like belief
With my lost saints – I love you,
Not only with the breath, smiles, tears, of all my strife–
But in every silent space and, if you choose,
I shall but love you forever, beyond death, beyond life

A Picture

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It made a glorious picture:
The nude and his lover
In a car 
In a field
Behind a hedge,
On the other side of which,
An old man walked
And cyclists, panting uphill, passed,
Whilst the nude and his lover
Just moaned and gasped.