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
Dancing along
the sparkling spectrum
a chestnut tree
in full blossom
Under a sky rent by light
on a starry starry night
Is seeing too much
beyond your place in time
ever and always
the visionary’s crime?

The windswept clouds
flowing by
The sky at night
swirling ivory
with the sparks
of a fire breathing dragon
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 paint brush
reveal
the lovely Miss Lindy

Watched carefully
by crows
the potato farmers toiling
planting potatoes
Backs bent
and faces blending
into the soul they’re tilling
The sowers
in the fields
The joyful 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 Jerusalem run

Fruit trees
in full 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 all over
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
of a wheatfield with cypresses

Light pulsating
The seasons living
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?
Fate and circumstance
The condition human
… ever out of balance
Yet those heartfelt
letters to your brother
flowing poetic
with spiritual wonder

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
for the open heart

Human history
a black-armband story
Yet interlaced and graced
with a blind faith
in the invisible God of love
And the humble hope
of seeing glory
The complexity
of pure 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
within the art of Vincent

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

~ by David B. Redpath © 2017-2020

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Photography: David B. Redpath

Paris
teach me
of your love
teach me
of your cobbled streets
and rivers
teach me of your painters
who sit by your bridges
teach me of the gardens
and the cafes and the treats
teach me of the sun
as it sets in the trees
teach me for i will listen
teach me and i will paint it
with all the words it gives me

In that Paris in the Spring
we found what we had lost
… the truth about magic

~Atticus

188 thoughts on “The Seasons”

  1. I waited in line almost 2 hours past our appointment time at the LA County Museum of Art to see an exhibit of Van Gogh’s works– then spent almost 3 hours inside (then I realized why the long wait.) Amazing how much more electrifying his art looked in person. As for Dali– he is also one of heroes. Nice post, David.
    Art

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I too have waited in a queue.
      But it was well worth it, Loujen.
      Great art has that ability to
      transport one to a higher level
      of conciousness. I found that
      to be true with many of the
      Impressionist and Surrealist
      masters (with Picasso’s works
      taking you in any direction 🔃).
      It’s a spiritual connection there
      for the willing 👀. The depth of
      the artworks is a reflection of
      the artists heart and soul.

      Like

  2. David, so so happy yesterday to see you around in blog town. This post blue my mind, hopefully it’s not too much of a getting-old-chez-vous line ;)) Such a beautiful synergy and such flow… I got to see Vincent’s paintings in Amsterdam y’know. The paint, the paint… it was so so sculptural and vibrant-thick… though of course we couldn’t touch it, I was amazed just looking at it. I loved also reading the comments here from the past. A lot of info, and it appears your knowledge of this beloved poetry-in-paint letter-writing bard is rather vast. 💛💚💙

    Like

    1. “I don’t know anything about art
      but I know what I like.”
      ~ Orson Welles

      So glad you liked this one Lia.
      I crossed the Equator, to Europe
      from Australia, to capture a poetic
      glimpse of Vincent. His art so well
      loved, but the man … so elusive.

      (I’ve actually never been so busy,
      Lia. Being locked down and out of London and Paris, I’m catching up
      on years of neglected home maintenance 🏡 I’ve even asked
      Orson Welles for advice 😎)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Love that Orson Welles quote, and it’s the same for me. :)) So glad to hear you’ve been well and busy. It’s a bit the same for us, we’ve been doing some masonry. Not my favourite cup of tea, but ok, as long as I can also read (and write) poetry. ;)) 🏰🍵✍️😇😜 And here, you made a truly beautiful masterpiece.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Lol! I’m on lower-edge mortar duty so it’s more like I need to watch for mud-slinging from higher up. ;)) But thanks David I shall very smilingly keep that in mind. In the meantime, don’t work too hard over there. ;)) 🌻🐝😎🧉

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I hadn’t gotten notification of your last few posts! I just double-checked my settings, so I won’t miss out again. I loved your tribute to Vincent van Gogh and the painter’s view of the world. Van Gogh has always been a favorite of mine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Paintings have a life of their own
      that derives from the painter’s soul.”
      ~ Vincent Van Gogh

      Thank you immeasurably, Liz 🙏
      I appreciate your feedback … and
      diligence when it comes WordPress 😎

      Liked by 1 person

  4. David, I’m not a poet. But I’ve known some and they tell me that it takes days and days to get motivation to write. Like an inner voice. But you seem to be on a perpetual inner voice . All your writing is meaningful. How is that the inside is always lit?

    Like

  5. A beautiful poetic tribute to Vincent Van Gogh, David.

    There was always something very haunting about his life and his art.

    All of us long to live our lives with passion.

    Vincent was one who certainly did that.

    At the cost of his sanity perhaps?

    But still at the last, I hope that what was reflected in those eyes of China blue was the image of the Saviour on the Cross

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much, Christopher.

      Vincent Van Gogh’s father was a
      preacher. Vincent himself was to
      follow in his father’s footsteps
      until, at the age of 27, he became
      an aspiring artist. I think he simply
      found another way to worship the
      Creator of the Universe.

      “For since the creation of the world
      God’s invisible qualities, his eternal
      power and divine nature have been
      clearly seen, being understood from
      what has been made, so that people
      are without excuse.”

      ~ Paul, the Apostle

      Liked by 1 person

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