A Still Life by Van Gogh

Still LIfe
Among the purple irises, one stalk
is bent to breaking; several slender

blue-green leaves lift
through a galaxy of billowing blossoms.

One thing rises while another
declines, and who can say why—

isn’t that the essential gesture
of everything planted here? I know nothing

with any certainty, the artist wrote,
but the sight of the stars

makes me dream. In a vase of rough
baked earth, imagine an ennobling

of all that stands from day to day,
and all that falls aside.

Copyright 2000 by Brian Dean Powers
Published in the 2016 Wisconsin Poets' Calendar
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5 thoughts on “A Still Life by Van Gogh

    1. I saw some of his paintings at the National Gallery in Washington DC. It’s one thing to study the work in books and lectures, and another to stand there and actually see those “wormy” brush strokes. I suppose his stormy life and passions are fertile ground for writers everywhere.

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