I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world,
to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

9 November 2015

A Bus Ride with Van Gogh




I pass the cane fields, some of the cane still standing, some burnt back to the bare, blackened ground. A few have tiny new plants already growing. In the background are wooden houses on stilts, ramshackle, dotted across the landscape, distant from each other behind clumpy dark trees. The sky is awash with low grey cloud. We cross a bridge. The wide flat river is likewise grey.

In Vincent's landscape, here on my iPad, the fields are rolling waves of colour – vivid blue and green, splashes of sunny gold. The sky is riotous too, only a little lighter, as if reflecting the land. A haystack nestles in front of a cluster of houses, all of them white-walled and blue-roofed. The Autumn trees are orange and gold. 



The scene I am passing through alters to high-rise city – shops, offices, tenements. The walls are beige or grey, the roofs dark red or brown. 

These contrasts deceive. I am travelling towards our Summer country. Northwards, the further we go the more the sky lightens, becoming suffused with sun.

sad or mad –
yet in pulsing colour
he paints joy


Image: View of Church of Saint Paul de Mausole, by Vincent Van Gogh


Written for dVerse Haibun Monday 3

Linking this to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #281 (December 6 2015)

28 comments:

  1. How wonderful that you can travel in two ways the same time, through the landscape and into the painting at the same. Traveling can be so very meditative.

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  2. Great haibun, interweaving two scenes.

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  3. Your landscape is different but I do love colorful paint of your travels ~ Hope all is well ~

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  4. City roads path stress to work..
    Country Roads Beta to
    Alpha to close to
    theta.. fields
    of dreams
    release
    creativity
    as flow
    in the zone..
    True journey
    as path of art..
    is in the mind and
    body in balance a
    work of art and human bliss..
    the perfect cure as practice
    for an artist like Van Gogh
    if not Van Gogh himself...

    Rewards intrinsic
    Alpha Theta..
    flow bliss in zone..:)

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    1. Delighted to have sparked this lovely response!

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  5. Lovely piece ... I enjoyed this very much.

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  6. I n the opening I enjoy the visual and emotional concept of the dead and the new growing together. Thank you!

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  7. a vibrant write...very much visual...love how you describe Van Gogh's art...

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  8. This is nice for the paragraphs presented, not the visual ones; the appreciation of the persona of things real and surreal, the voices of artists divine and human, and the perspective of the writer actual and poetic

    have yourself a wonderful Sunday Rosemary

    much love...

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  9. You have a good travel companion at least - beats the inevitable person who may not smell very nice and overlaps the seat boundaries! I love the journey and perhaps colour comes from all those things - mad, sad...or happy - as long as there is colour..there is joy...

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  10. He does paint pulsing energy!!

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  11. I was there with you, drinking in the fields and then colors of man-made things... I love the movement of the description--the poem let me feel the motion of the car. And the haiku? Perfect. Riding with Van Gogh, indeed...

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  12. Sigh... pulsing colors of joy is a delightful scene :D :D

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  13. Love the two scenes as they come to mind and consciousness....fabulous!

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  14. "He paints joy" - what a wonderful phrase. Love the photo, the painting and the wonderful poem, Rosemary.

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  15. So true....as 'mad' or 'sad' as he was, he painted joy. Perhaps it was in painting that he found joy....

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  16. This is such a wonderful piece! I love how it's all about art and reality, and how it never quite stacks up. But, this seems to be the point. The art stands still, while the world moves on,

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  17. I like your take on this lovely piece of art. Poor Van Gogh, he had a hard time in his life and being here brought him a measure of peace. Mad, sad, glad - truly he painted with joy and I like how you let us know that.

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  18. You have captured the changing view through the hands of time. The scenery different but Van Gogh painted with joy..ah yes I can feel the colors bursting with happiness

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  19. Van Gogh's early works were dark, sombre and with little life and yet in his mental unease he produced the most impressive and colourful work to influence and astound us even today; so much so that even we can see such colour in our lives as you have done in your haibun about your own country. This is so well written.

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  20. I really enjoyed this haibun pinned against your photo and the Van Gogh painting. A wonderful post, Rosemary.

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  21. You made that painting come alive. I have just started watercolour painting and it is truly joyful.

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  22. i like how you contrast the darks and greys of the first strophe with the bright colours of the second.
    indeed the colours van Gogh used in his more famous works are in contrast to his tormented life.

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  23. Love the contrast between the real and the artist's eye. Two well written descriptive images...the outer and inner perspectives. Campbell says we must follow our bliss...and we must.

    Elizabeth

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  24. Thanks for posting this lovely poem. It makes me think of Oscar Wilde's discourse at the beginning of Dorian Grey--art doesn't copy life, life copies art. Here you refuse the copying, each is whole and engaging in itself. Love it. And love the joy of heading North.

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  25. Very picturesque scene painted with your words,

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  26. Sorry to comment so late Rosemary. I'm glad I did. Enjoyed your description, and of course the contrast to Van Gogh's happy and imaginative colors. Your haiku is perfect. Lovely.

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    1. Happy to receive your comment any time, Myrna! (I am often late getting to people's posts too, because life happens – but I'd still rather that than miss out on reading poems I enjoy.)

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