Still Life: A Poem with Mary and Henri

I love the arts; theater, live music, dance, art history, poetry and learning about the lives of artists. Devoting time to this passion of mine has been spotty at best. My iPad is making it easier to fit some art and inspiration into my days which are filled with running our family business. Masterpieces app gives me 200 images as a springboard and a short google search later and I am learning about Manet, Van Gogh, O"Keeffe and many others.

Henri Matisse makes me very happy, his use of color, composition and texture pleases my eye and soothes my heart. His Large Red Interior,1848, an oil on canvas caught my attention and a story formed in my head about how that very red room came to be. The phrase popped into my mind, "he once drank cups of me..." and this poem was born. It is not biographical either from Henri's life or my own but it effectively creates a mood by employing the imagery of temperature, color and thirst. The title Still Life is appropriate because of the many ways those two words can be interpreted.

Still Life

one simmering flame warms the hand blown teapot
he once drank cups of me
his young white leaf, his lemon honey
freshly filled fruit bowls spilling over everywhere

a gray afternoon found him down on the ground
Wailing about color and hue
Insistent it all turn crimson; moldings, floor, our furniture
Arms high, wild shouting,
     "Saturate the walls! Add a ruby ceiling!"

funny how the new love hut has no paint at all.
hot under his blankets of red
a ceramic saucer lies empty
one thirsty heart cries-out for primer


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