The Seasons

“It is something
to be deep
in the snow in Winter,
to be deep
in the yellow leaves
in Autumn,
to be deep
in the ripe wheat
in Summer,
to be deep
in the grass in Spring.”
~ Vincent van Gogh

In the shallows
just below
the translucent skin
of Spring
an opal blue explosion
awaiting
the grand thaw of awe
to begin
The riverbank
in springtime
A chestnut tree
in blossom
dances along
the sparkling spectrum
Under a sky rent by light
on a starry starry night
Is seeing too much
beyond your place in time
ever
and always
the crime?

The windswept clouds
flowing by
The sky at night
swirling
with the sparks
of fire breathing
Dragons of Ivory
tumbling up on high

Atop of Montmartre
in the town square
with easel and pallet in hand
Vincent standing there
Painting the very cafe terrace
where Lindy and I
sat for a chat
Talking Paris in Spanish
with Picasso
and Salvador the Dali
If only I had known!
I would’ve asked Vincent
to come join us for coffee
With Dali digging up
the remains of old flames
And without a blush
or a blemish of Flemish
Pablo Del Diablo
always so naughty
trying to steal
and with his brush reveal
the lovely Miss Lindy

Watched carefully by crows
the potato farmers toiling
planting potatoes
Backs bent
and faces blending
with the soil
they’re tilling
In the fields
the sowers and the reapers
And Vincent painting flowers
A bouquet
to the higher powers
Golden flowers of the Sun
With Paul Gauguin
the harvest has begun

Autumn’s purple harvest
from the vineyard
near Montmajour
As humble village people
the coming Winter
to endure
gather firewood
in fall’s early snow
The harrow lies idle
in the meadow
A lonely church steeple
casting a long
and lonely shadow
Down below
shuffling past the graveyard
the melancholy widow

A still life forming
in the style of grace
The still living
sheltering
The fading Sun retreating
from Winter’s cold embrace
In the moonlight
of a solstice night
the snow-covered field
a silver glowing shield
The White Knight
of twilight
not yet ready to yield
The lake a frozen void
The wellspring of new life
about to unfold
Like God’s shining Son
raising the dead
in those Bible stories
of old
whilst healing cripples
on the run

Fruit trees in blossom
Painting the garden
at Saint-Remy Asylum
Vincent
I think
you’d have dug Pink Floyd
(If not the Village Peoples?)
For Vincent
I saw your self portrait
right next to the exit
Mister Electric!
Blue eyes vibrant
A shock of Red hair
with your finger
in the socket
Behind the black ball
Left ear
in the right pocket
Brushstrokes
of Prussian Blue
spilling onto
the Aqua-ecstatic
Masterpiecing
the rush with a brush
of a driven eccentric
The Purple patch
of a crimson exotic
Casting glorious light
upon a landscape vast

Leading me away
into the past
a country path
in the south of France
To view
Saintes-Maries-de La-Mer
The first past
the post-impressionist
and high-wired
tightrope walker
painting a picture
A love letter
for us children
of the future
In Arles
at the House of Yellow
a working girl
from the bordello
finds Vincent asleep
on a blood soaked pillow

Metro man losing touch
with the seasons
The cities stay warmer
That’s why
on Winter nights
the starlings
keep on returning
to the Big Smoke
that makes you choke
The seasons
they are changing

All shades of grey
from the cradle
to the grave
at the Reaper’s demand
Yet Vincent
with but a mortal hand
and a pallet exquisite
of pulsating pigment
sowing with all
the passion of creation
Capturing
reflecting
expressing
the flowering
At who’s command?
All in a dream
starlight for a blanket
Visions
from a far off land

Patterns weaving
in the olive grove
A treasure trove
of visions softly spoken
The undergrowth flowering
amongst the old tree trunks
all twisted and broken
Tracing the ether
etched with brilliance
Chasing that bliss
Lost in a patch of grass
Fleeing the abyss
Portraying an escape
Seizing the glowing radiance
‘A Wheatfield with Cypresses’
The seasons ever changing
Captured through the haze
of a consciousness ablaze
and a brain abuzz
Vincent
did death’s cold gaze
freeze
or spark the craze?
Did the cookie cutter
at the Church
of Martin Luther
cause you to stammer
or stutter?
The condition human
ever out of balance

Painting the peasants
as they toil
The passing seasons
Man at one
with the soil
Industrial disease?
Just a momentary phase
as the flock watch
and graze
counting the days
This mortal coil
an all consuming maze
in a sleepwalking daze
stumbling to a fall
Vincent’s art
a portal to the eternal
A key to the spiritual
the sublime supernal
beyond the religious

Human history
a ‘black-armband’ story
Yet interlaced and graced
with a blind faith
in the God of love
And the humble hope
of seeing glory
The complexity
of brilliance
A simple vase of flowers
an exhibition glorious
The gain
a holy flame
in a picture frame
Sanctifying
the souls of those
who flock to your fame
But in the gaining
what was lost?
Did your lust for life
only bring you strife?
Did you lose all reason
in that final season?
Vincent
what was the cost?

To the Program
de Le Grand
and the getting
all on board with it
Once and for all
one and all
created all
by the One Great Spirit
Reflections captured
upon the art of Vincent

Winds of imagination
rushing strong
Clouds of perception
sailing along
The shining sun
with golden beam
The silver moon
with softer gleam
The starry night
in praise rejoice
The lights of evening
given voice
Alleluia

~ by david redpath © 2017

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Photography: david redpath

43 thoughts on “The Seasons”

  1. We were going to visit
    the Greek isles last year,
    but ended up in Spain instead
    ( An invitation from Pablo
    and Salvador, so we had
    no choice but to go ).
    With great regret, we hadn’t
    the time to get to both.
    Next time ‘El Greco’, in style.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. An excellent poem about one of my favourite artists Vincent Van Gogh.
    This poem really has quite a nice rhythmic flow.
    The world was never meant for one as beautiful as Vincent.
    That’s why sunflowers on starry starry night are coloured red like sunset.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you very much
      for that Christopher.
      Unlike Don McLean,
      I do not believe Vincent
      Van Gogh killed himself.
      Even the authorities at the
      time suspected it was
      someone else, and that
      Vincent, with his last breath
      covered for the culprit.
      Just as he did when Gaughan,
      a renowned swordsman,
      drunkenly cut off Vincent’s ear.
      All of which tells me that
      Vincent Van Gogh was a
      true friend.

      Liked by 4 people

  3. David, what a beautiful and vivid tribute to dear Vincent. Your words pirouette gracefully from line to line, capturing of a kaleidoscope of colors. You have five lines tucked into your poem that made me pause and reflect deeply as to the plight of the artist, powerful words,

    “Is seeing too much
    beyond your place in time
    ever
    and always
    the crime?”

    Stunning poem and wonderful photos! Have a lovely Tuesday. ~ Mia

    Liked by 3 people

  4. This poem stole my heart. With every mention of Vincent, scenes from ‘Loving Vincent’ came back to my head repeatedly. You have captured that time wonderfully with such vivid descriptions. Great job 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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