At Giverny

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At Giverny

At Giverny, Monet found the peace
he had sought at Argenteuil, but never
found. In this photo, he walks between
irises and nasturtiums on the gravel
path leading to the Japanese footbridge
that spans the lily pond. He stands now
on that bridge and sees himself reflected
… eyes, mouth, whiskers, hat …
all floating, half-drowned forever
in the fragrant colors he turned into
plants and flowers. Illusive, yet real,
the ghost of his smile haunts the lily
pond’s depths in this two dimensional
recreation of light and movement, held
forever in the camera’s instantaneous
capture of this selected moment. Now,
in the first home we have owned, this
Christmas Eve, with snow on the ground,
and a chill wind blowing a Queen Anne’s
lace of drifting flakes against the window’s
fly screen, anniversary flowers brighten
our table, while under the tree, presents
… including this book you gave me …
are piled as everything waits, breathless,
as past and future, hand in hand, dance
slow motion paintings to the flickering
rhythms of the fire’s impressionist flames.

Love the Sorcerer

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Love the Sorcerer

“What sorcery love must be
to make such fools of men.”

There’s more to love than the magic
conjured from chemistry as eye
meets eye or flesh makes secret
contracts, body to body, in free
trade agreements that are remade,
over the dinner table, day after day.

Hands that plug in the kettle,
pour boiling water on the tea,
poach or fry the breakfast eggs,
brown the early-morning toast,
write out the weekly shopping list,
flick the switch on washer and dryer,
peg wet laundry to the outdoor line,
pack the children’s lunch boxes
and get them ready for school
day after day:
such love is truly a magician.

My cartoon speaks
not three words
but a thousand.

Ties that bind:
what more can I say?

Monet at Giverny 13-16 /16

“Though lovers be lost, love shall not;
and Death shall have no Dominion.”
Dylan Thomas 

Monet at Giverny
13-16 /16

13

fish aloft like birds
skimming wet sunshine

spring’s first swallow
rising from the depths
to snatch a golden note
quivering in the air

14

thunder raises dark ripples

lightning a forked tongue
insinuated into paradise

an apple tossed away
caution thrown over the shoulder
as sharp as salt

15

winds of change

that first bite
too bitter to remember

 16

timeless this tide
this ebb and flow

oh great pond-serpent

biting yourself

forever

 

Monet at Giverny 9-12 / 16

“Though lovers be lost, love shall not;
and Death shall have no Dominion.”
Dylan Thomas 

Monet at Giverny
9-12 /16

9

the lady of the lake
holding out her hand
handing him an apple
l’offrande du coeur
a scarlet heart of flame

 monochromatic this island
brown earth in a crimson lake
the world reborn in tulips

10

especially
when the dying sun
molten fire spreading
its limpid light

sky brimming over into pond
trapped in low clouds
a slash of colour here
and there a tree
a fountain of gold

 the sun an apple
blushing
on a setting branch

11

silver-white the money plant
moonlight between fine-tuned fingers
its rattle of seeds

blunt the moon’s bite
raked from water
gaunt its gesture
matched ripples
face to face
with the moon

12

upside down these clouds
bright in their winter boats

the night wind blows
clean dry bones
across the sky

 

 

Monet at Giverny 5-8 /16

“Though lovers be lost, love shall not;
and Death shall have no Dominion.”
Dylan Thomas 

Monet at Giverny
5-8 /16

5

wisteria and his curly blue locks
Narcissus clad in an abyss of lilies
imperial his reflection and perilous

slowly he slides to sleep
merging into his imaged dream

a vaulted cathedral
his earthbound ribs
the blood space immaculate

6

night and day and sun and clouds
leapfrogging over water

something survives
sepia tints
dreaming on and on

exotic this sudden movement
Carassius auratus flowering

 7

Clos Normand and the Grande Allée
closed to him now
folded his flowers
their petals tight at his nightfall

dark their colours
mourning for his mornings of light
fled far from him now

8

can we soften this sunstroke of brightness
le roi soleil threatening to blind us?

rey de oros
the sun glow braiding itself
an aureate palette

a susurration of leaves

 

 

Monet at Giverny 1-4 /16

“Though lovers be lost, love shall not;
and Death shall have no Dominion.”
Dylan Thomas 

Monet at Giverny
1-4 /16

1

his lily pond
a mirror shattering
shards of clouds
flames beneath the lilies
fractured fish

2

the executioner stripes evening
a+cross the sacrificed horizon

in blood we were born
in earth will we rest

our flesh turned to bread
empurpled this imperial wine
streaming with day’s death
these troubled waters

3

green footprints the lily pads
a halo
this drowned man’s beard
liquescent

like the gods
he dreamed
he walked dry over water

flowering goldfish
this thin line of cloud

4

maples flash ruby thoughts
ripples flowing outward
as heavy as a henge

this altar tumbling
downwards
through a liquid sky