Dis-Moi, Vincent–dVerse Haibun Monday

Image: Wikipedia Commons

Image: Wikipedia Commons

It’s all about perspective, isn’t it, Vincent? You view that church from across a field of golden waves, as though in getting too close you may be hurt yet again. As though that icon of faith would bring to mind the abysmal (apparent) failure you experienced in your ministry to miners. Am I correct?

So many years have passed now, and from my perspective, oh-so-much is more transparent. For you, it seemed failure dogged you your entire life—failure in love, failure in your passion for painting, failure to be accepted—even by your family. I know better. You never did.

Do you seek balance?
Blue that speaks of such sadness,
but yellow for joy.

(dis-moi is French for tell me, using the familiar form of the verb dire.)

Linked for dVerse Haibun Monday hosted this week by Bjorn. We hope you will join us! 

Monsieur Vincent–A Poem

This poem is in response to this past week’s  Monday Morning Writing Prompt. If you don’t know a lot about Vincent Van Gogh, I recommend Irving Stone‘s novel, “Lust for Life.” It is a beautiful novel about the artist and Irving Stone is known for his thorough research.

Monsieur Vincent,

are those your boots?

They speak of pain,

of hard work and tears,

of fruitless labor,

of loss and darkness.

Or did they belong

to the miner who died?

The one you served

in your early days?

Those days

of loss and darkness.

Monsieur Vincent,

why do you try?

Why do you see the world

 in blue and orange

when all you know

is loss and darkness?

Did you wear those

boots the day you

died, the day you

tried to end the pain

and failed to find even then

the end of loss and darkness.

Monsieur Vincent,

put them aside,

learn to dance, to sing,

to find the way to joy.

Your work speaks of beauty

and peace; it belies

a life of loss and darkness.

The world now knows

an artist who sought,

who longed to love

and be loved and who

gave of himself

in spite of loss and darkness.

Monday Morning Writing Prompt: Ekphrasis

Ekphrasis or ecphrasis is the graphic, often dramatic description of a visual work of art. In ancient times it referred to a description of any thing, person, or experience. The word comes from the Greek ek and phrasis, ‘out’ and ‘speak’ respectively, verb ekphrazein, to proclaim or call an inanimate object by name. (Wikipedia)

For our prompt I’d like to invite you spend a few moments with a friend of mine, Vincent Van Gogh. There is such a combination of beauty and tragedy in his life. You probably know he was an (apparent) failure at everything he tried during his lifetime: love,  the ministry,  and art. When he lived for a few days after his suicide attempt, he told his brother, Theo, that he couldn’t even succeed at taking his own life.

You may want to check out some of his art work on the Internet. Write an poetic ekphrasis using an image or Van Gogh himself as the subject. Here are a couple of his paintings to help you get started:

Vincent VanGogh--Public Domain

Vincent VanGogh--Public Domain