painting by Seana Monaghan Gallagher
When Love Becomes Still-Life
Nothing is louder than a heart unforgiven,
Screaming in the afternoon
Among an oil colored room of flowers and drapes
While loneliness distills sunlight into a white paste.
Without wind to move petals or linens
Or of reaching hands across a wooden table
Toward a bowl of red apples without taste,
Even the serpent is through with me.
No footsteps arriving or heels departing
Just the meter noise of a reckless beat
When love becomes still-life
Long after Cezanne left the kitchen,
Nothing is louder than a heart unforgiven.
Even a condemned man has a priest
Saying prayers while walking together.
An electric chair would feel like life,
Forgiveness, and relief for soul but not heart.
A hum to drown out the noise of each beat
Is far better than this still-life grief
Shouting from this squalor canvass
Downsized and ripped apart
As the rich sun begins to depart.
So you confess to the night,
Curse the moon, picked fruit
And the world that does not think twice.
You cause havoc among the stars
Shatter ceramic bowls into jagged pieces.
Hear the awkward rolls of red apples
Thumping off the wooden table,
Falling from Paradise
When love becomes still-life.
Nothing is louder than a heart unforgiven
So you let go,
And allow Van Gogh into your kitchen.
OMG! You should be BOMBARDED by comments about this! You captured it… Nailed it spot on and I am slayed by the sheer ease and grace of your talent in the poetry arena. Simply breathtaking.
My damn cell isn’t letting me copy/paste but the section beginning with “while loneliness distills….” is especially potent.
But that last line! Oh my, yes yes YES!!!!!
LikeLiked by 1 person
I do thank you. I have been bombarded with the sound of crickets.
Paul, this poem is deeply touching and strikes a universal chord of aching loss and the need for forgiveness–which we all have. Every human who has ever walked the earth needs forgiveness for something–many things–and we also need to forgive others for the wrongs done to us. Therein lies the rub. Forgiveness is nigh unto impossible to give and to get. Despite what Dr. Phil or anyone else might say, most grudges–including the worst of all, the ones we hold against ourselves–are never forgiven. We humans and our feelings are stubborn that way. Forgiveness is one of the greatest things we can give and receive in this life, but, alas, it’s like looking for an oasis in a desert. On another note, I’ve said this before but it needs repeating: you are an excellent poet and writer, with a unique voice of deep and intelligent insight–a voice that should be heard. Examples: The title of your poem–When Love Becomes Still-Life–is brilliant. As are lines like Nothing is louder than a heart unforgiven. So you let go. And allow Van Gogh into your kitchen.
Switching gears again, I’m sending you a You Tube song that is one of the most uplifting soul-stirring things I’ve ever heard: an a cappella version of I Believe by the 82nd Airborne Chorus. I think it would make Cezanne turn around and come back in. Even the crickets would shut up and listen. Big Manly Hug, Bob
LikeLiked by 1 person