Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Sunflowers- For Vincent van Gogh

I’ve heard the musings-
the may-be's of your despair:
mental illness, schizophrenia,

bi-polar disorder, OCD.

Now a new book tells all-
more than a century later.
Of cowboys and pretense.

Of a shotgun, lingering death
and your silence screaming,
even now.

In your paintings,
hanging in Philadelphia,
the Louve, the Musee d’Orsay: in these,

I see exuberance.
Hope. Determination.
I see a man who drank deeply,

longed for a love to taste,
touch and smell.
Love that would sustain

despite any coloration of mood-
How we all hunger for this love.
Unconditional, no-strings-attached love,

offered up sweet and straight,
but most of all: unconditional.
You wore a recycled name.

Born after the first-born,
the first Vincent, had died.

Those sunflowers, your sunflowers, say it all:

Cleft petals carved, flourished and stroked,
like the ardent lover I imagine you could be.
The pallet knife digging into impasto,

gently caressed afterglow.
Winding out from floral button cores.
Eye-popping sunshine at the brush mark’s rim.

Ochre, rust, sienna, shimmering verdant leaf. 
Dear Vincent like you, a wild, intense tourmaline sky.

Melinda Rizzo is a freelance writer and reporter, living in rural Bucks County, USA. She shares a nearly 200-year-oldfarmhouse with husband Phil, their son Adam and a black Labrador named Caleb.
The large kitchen - centrally located on the first floor - is the heart and soul of their home.

Every summer, she grows a wild-eyed variety of sunflowers.