Other Worlds

Senility, dementia, mind away,
words used by others to define a life;
yet in days past she’d sit for hours and play
a Claire de Lune, La Mer or Rêverie,
lost in a world that then as well as now
is not of this rude world but was a world
of changing meters, rhythms, fantasies,
moonlight and seas and dreams, lost memories,
forgetting self and time and place, but moved
by notes engaged in wandering harmonies.

Sheaves of Wheat

Vincent van Gogh, oil on canvas, 1890

You often painted fields of golden grain,
Canvas awash in morning’s natural light,
With peasant men and women preordained
To reap the harvest, end of summer’s rite,
A metaphor, the cycle of our lives,
Of small grains planted in soft fertile ground
Incubating, finally giving rise
To rows of wheat, young, waving and unbound,
Then gathered up in bundles at the end
Of day when fiery sunset fills the skies
And once-bright colors fade away and blend
To quieter shades that seem to sanctify
And bless earth’s final scene. We should not grieve
The time of reaping, bringing in the sheaves.

What else can one do, when we think of all the things we do not know the reason for, than go look at a field of wheat? The history of those plants is like our own… being reaped when we are ripe…
Letter from Vincent to his sister, Wilhelmina.