Les Nympheas, Claude Monet

Grief and art

The Bard of Liminga

Facade of Rouen Cathedral
thirty times, each different,
not stone-hard arching lines,
rather color and shadow and light.
Haystacks, always those two,
not things themselves
but landscapes of enveloping air.

Camille Monet sur son lit de mort
on her deathbed at 32,
a sunset at noon
behind her pallid head
pillowed haystack
palette knifed snow
brushstroke blizzard of grief

that tugged his hand
when his head was snowblind.
To George Clemenceau he said,
Ainsi de la bete qui tourne sa meule.
Plaignez-moi, mon ami.
Like the beast who turns his millstone.
Pity me, my friend.

Every day the old man painted
the lily pond at Giverny.
What does it mean to write a poem
every day? Words like irises.
Metaphors spanning the garden brook.
Skin demarks absence, the limit of light,
the frontier of enveloping air.

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About Ray Sharp

Father, poet, triathlete, local public health planner
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