tanka

tanka--
small songs I sing
to join
my voice to other voices
hidden in the grass

Friday, December 6, 2013

"I Know Where I Must Go"

On her knees, she scrubs floors by day, paints all night in a candlelit garret.  From some whirling nexus beyond her ken, flowers, fruits and leaves flow from her fingers onto canvas. Form and color rise up and dance.

oxblood,
candlewax, and herbs--
she extracts
essential pigments
from her narrow world

Starving while war boils around her, still she paints the stained-glass gardens of her soul. Someday her paintings will be exhibited in Paris and New York—yet Seraphine Louis will spend her last years in a madhouse.

visions and voices
from another realm—
an eye
embedded in the tree
of life


Haibun Today 7: 4, December 2013


Click here to learn more about  Seraphine Louis and see some of her paintings, including L'Arbe du Paradis, which is mentioned in the second tanka. 

2 comments:

  1. Interesting and beautiful. Your prose is poetic too. Love "whirling nexus..." and "stained-glass gardens..."

    ReplyDelete