Monday, January 14, 2008

Five themed poems by Peggy Landsman

Five poems
by Peggy Landsman

Still Life with Onions

Van Gogh ate his paint
worked quickly
and died

he was so sloppy
so hungry

he couldn't wait to free his palette
cover his canvases thick

he couldn't wait for chrome-yellow love
infinite night-sky blue
to dry

he had to lick his light fresh.

as I cut onions into chunks--
never delicate, translucent slices

coming down hard at irregular angles
gouging the board
mixing wood splinters in

I think about the unusual way
I'm told I have with a knife.

I bet Vincent tore into his bread
left his teeth marks in wedges of cheese
completely neglected on countless occasions
to clean up after himself.

and what's wrong with big chunks of onion?
the savage charge of having to eat?

eyes burning, tears streaming
I see through it all--

the last temptation of light.


Vincent in My Dreams
(Van Gogh's Crows Over a Wheatfield)

The night Van Gogh came to me
I was deaf and blind.

He tapped me on the shoulder with his palette knife,
Brooded my fingers over a bumpy canvas.

It could have been anyone;
I knew it was Van Gogh.

The next morning
In a field gone to seed and shadows
The prominent color

Beneath a sky
Full of crows alone with their voices

A sky so heavy
Its terrible blue
Forever almost falling

I awoke my violet face.


Thinking of Vincent
(Van Gogh's The Starry Night)

sure strokes of genius
fierce stars and strange winds swirling--
hope puts out your eyes.


The Man and the Woman in Van Gogh's The Old Mill

They've known each other and how to live
for years.

Perhaps they are gossiping,
comparing notes on last Sunday's sermon,
exchanging views on the weather.

Are they aware that Vincent is working?

Or are they merely a few strokes of genius--
life he's added to his canvas?

If they are real, I bet they're discussing
the unfair price of potatoes.


(Piet Mondrian's Composition with Red, Yellow and Blue, 1921)

Black White
fence me in
no shades of Grey

Red Yellow Blue
corner me in
relieve me of clutter on my visual

Orange Green Indigo Violet
invite me to
find my way

Author bio:

Peggy Landsman's poetry and prose has been widely published in both online and print literary anthologies and journals,including The Muse Strikes Back (Story Line Press), The Largeness the Small Is Capable Of (Score Press), Bridges (Indiana University Press), Calyx, The Kerf, Thema, Poetica, Moondance, Spindle, and issues 6 and 7 of Clockwise Cat. Her first poetry chapbook,To-wit To-woo,is available online from FootHills Publishing. She lives in Pompano Beach, Florida. Her website can be found at: Peggy Landsman.

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