Last Days (poem)

Last Days


the only artist 
that is truly
appreciated
is a dead one

for there is a finite 
number of completed 
canvasses stacked in dry
cellars for the art dealers 
to handle

a live artist has too many
possibilities & versions
to try -
I have said this to Theo

*

I translate this world
landscapes, buildings &
people
with myself amongst it

see the shifting layers:
the cobalt blues, chromium yellows
emerald greens & vermilions
pressed into the canvas
the crooked churches, dark
cypresses, the sunflowers
I painted for Gauguin,
the pine trees in the asylum

*

every canvas is one less
variation, or piece of night sky
daubed with large white blots
of stars

I work in more & more of myself
until

I merge with the paints &
there is nothing left

*

Auvers is so real
the world is so real
but dull, unimaginative, 
lacking understanding

I write to Theo: We can
only make our pictures speak
& I am risking my life for it

*

I'm painting this canvas
of yellow wheatfields &
black smudges of crows
only there are pathways
leading to nowhere, no way 
to escape

the storm beckons


Joanne Fisher


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Šī¸2022 Joanne Fisher

The Potato Eaters (poem)

The Potato Eaters by Vincent Van Gogh (April, 1885)

The Potato Eaters


it may seem we are stuck here
caught frozen on the canvas,
but we have a life to live
there are few pleasures for us;
the days seem long and
the nights short

the few moments we are together
are under the light of our solitary gas lamp
that barely lights this family table
even in daylight dark shadows
lurk in the room

we eat these potatoes
ones that today I dug up
from the deep earth with my
raw hands, Cornelia pours
the coffee black and tasting of
grit, then we wrap ourselves up
for the cruel night

through the holes in the roof
I see the dark sky and bright
burning stars, almost as far
away as candles lighting
a rich man's home

then a wind comes up
whistling through the brief night
we try to catch as much sleep
as we can -
we need all our strength 
for the sunlight when

we go back to work
digging up these tubers
from out of the stony earth
in the sunburnt fields
of Nuenen. 


Joanne Fisher

First published in Takahe 21

I’m dealing with a bad depression at the moment which is why I’ve been republishing my poems here recently, plus it’s also been at least a couple of years since anyone here has seen them…

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Šī¸2022 Joanne Fisher

Van Gogh in Auvers (poem)

Vincent Van Gogh, Wheat Field under Threatening Skies with Crows (1890)


Van Gogh in Auvers


Auvers is the end
of the journey
the final spiral
downwards

you wanted to be closer
to Theo, but Paris is too hectic,
too busy, so you came to
Auvers where

Gauguin, Pissaro, & Cezanne
precede you

everything
gets a little bit
crooked
& blotched
& less precise
among the cottages with
thatched roofs & wheat fields
with crows

the air ripples around you
everything grows hazy

you slip away


Joanne Fisher

First published in Catalyst 16

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Šī¸2022 Joanne Fisher

Starry Night (poem)

Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

Starry Night


the night sky luminous 
with bright burning stars
the full moon beaming
like a spotlight at me

in the darkness
I gaze upwards
at the pageant above -
lost in wonder


Joanne Fisher


Word count: 30

This was written with the prompt luminous provided by Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #257.

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Šī¸2022 Joanne Fisher

Van Gogh In Auvers (poem)

2e0d291fc59d00eb8410d6c97459fb0a.900x721x1
Van Gogh, Cottages with Thatched Roofs and Figures (July, 1890)

 

Van Gogh In Auvers

 

Auvers is the end

of the journey

the final spiral

downwards

 

you wanted to be closer

to Theo, but Paris is too hectic,

too busy, so you come to

Auvers where

 

Gauguin, Pissaro, & Cezanne

preceded you

 

everything

gets a little bit

crooked

& blotched

& less precise

among the cottages with

thatched roofs & wheat fields

with crows

 

the air ripples around you

everything is shimmering

 

you slip away

 

Joanne Fisher

 

This is a poem I’ve been working on lately. I thought it was in a good enough state to publish here, but I find poetry is often never finished…

 

I consider this a companion piece to my poem The Last Days of Van Gogh.

 

Please support my blog! 🙂

The Potato Eaters

 

1251
The Potato Eaters by Vincent van Gogh (April, 1885)

it may seem we are stuck here

but we have a life to live

there are few pleasures for us;

the days seem long and the

nights short

the few moments we are together

under the light of a solitary gas lamp

that barely lights this family table

even in daylight dark shadows

lurk in the room

we eat these potatoes

ones that today I dug up

from the deep earth with my

raw hands, Cornelia pours

the coffee black and tasting

like grit then we wrap ourselves up

from the cruel night

through the holes in

the roof I see the dark sky

and bright burning stars

almost as far away as candles

lighting a rich man’s home

then a wind comes up

whistling through the brief night

we try to catch as much sleep

as we can

we need all our strength

for the sunlight when

we go back to work

digging up these tubers

from out of the stony earth

in the sunburnt fields

of Nuenen

 

Joanne Fisher

 

 

The Last Days Of Van Gogh (poem)

828
Wheat Field under Threatening Skies With Crows (July, 1890) by Vincent Van Gogh

I believe this is a fact:

the only artist that is truly appreciated

is a dead one

for there is a finite number

of completed canvasses stacked in

dry cellars for the art dealers

to handle

 

a live artist has too many infinite

possibilities & versions to try

I have said this many times

to my brother Theo

 

*

 

I am translating this world

its landscapes, buildings & people

& myself amongst it

 

I want you to see the shifting layers:

the cobalt blues, chromium yellows,

emerald greens, & vermilions

that are pressed into the canvas,

the crooked churches, the

tall dark cypresses, the sunflowers I

painted for Gauguin in the Yellow House,

the pine trees in the asylum

 

*

 

every canvas I paint is one less

variation or piece of night sky daubed

with large white blots of stars

 

I work in more & more of myself

until

 

I merge with the paints &

there is nothing left

 

*

 

Auvers is so real

the world is so real,

but so dull, unimaginative

& lacking understanding

 

I write to Theo: We can

only make our pictures speak

& I am risking my life for it

 

this is true

 

*

 

today I am painting a canvas

of yellow wheatfields & black

smudges of crows, there are three

pathways with no direction, no way

to escape

 

a dark storm

beckons

 

Joanne Fisher