Sunday, November 13, 2011
would not allow curvaceous joys to show,
although the jasmine thighs of Josephine
unlocked your dancing feet and a made you smile.
Slowly, with grim intent, your world had formed
in solitude, the storms of war shut out,
where nature’s wayward forms were brought in line
with cubic lore and space that was deformed.
In Paris, abstraction was all the rage,
the cafés blazing with artistic thought,
and rhythmic beats of Jazz upon the stage
where Louis blew and sang through strong, white teeth.
In La Rue du Départ, beneath the moon
wind precisely the tension on the spring,
place a shiny disk on the gramophone,
lie down and listen to your angels sing.
The horizon bore down upon the sea
seen through vertical lines of worn out piers,
half remembered from childhood’s waking dream,
distilled with tears to a philosophy.
Where shall they lie upon the pristine plane,
the horizontals and the verticals,
the width of every black, defining line
a question fit to drive a man insane.
Poverty, frugality, lack of success,
a daily blight upon the iron will,
transformed by habit and that careful dress
the aesthete forced his life into Der Stijl.
The list of friends grew long with loneliness
so neatly written down in books of notes,
a careful piling up of signs and words
undistinguished by woman’s fond caress.
The atelier long brought to order,
a work of art and tight conformity,
abandoned as Huns massed on the border
packed up, a refugee upon the sea.
Heavenly sight of towers seen through the mist,
safe haven for those who love the height
of vibrant streets arranged upon a grid
with neon lights and dancing through the night.
Refreshed by friendship and a studio
the black lines gave way to flowing yellow
bands of red and blue, like a radio
blaring visions of songs he loved and knew.
Now, at journey’s end, the culmination
of his art passed on the torch of freedom
to a younger nation of hopes and dreams
a keen vision more complex than it seems.