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Harvest Inferno

Take me to the tombstone 
let me touch the gray stone that stands
where life could not
I will put my face to that touchstone of deaf thunder,
What happened  to your breath baby brother,
what happened in the quiet black water,
maybe I am you, and you me, do you see,
do you see burning infinity,
tell me life is real
tell me that I'm not a feeble shadow
tell me that I don't disappoint you,
tell me the world is wrong
show me the grave is empty,

Is this how Yellow was born
desire alive upon the velvet of dawn,
I can feel my soul coated in warm cadmium 
and I can see my soul in the coal country of the Borinage,
that's where I discovered the hope of Yellow
glowing strong in the miners' lamps
where black is sovereign day and night,
the black there leaves no license for joy
it is jealous in every season of labor
and deadly below the surface,
Father do you see me here 
in the pure dirty hearth
unholy in unabashed austerity
giving the weasing workers the Word
oh no Papa not in Greek or Latin
nor in clean wool behind polished pulpit
I bring the payment for pain
like a cool hand to fevered head
a benevolent  blanket to calm the chill,
there's no mercy in the mines,
we shared in the salted skin of suffering
and the Church dismissed me
as if I were a damaged Disciple,
send him back to the galleries they said
where he can sell sunsets
to the Shahs of finance and industry,
let him have a parish in Paris
a layiety in London, a hospital in the Hague,
damn them and their dogma,
I've learned that from the word fight
the word gift can be spelled,
I found my gift,

Your tongue was like smooth charcoal 
drawing the deepest breaths 
that my soul could surrender to the surface of life,
the sorrow of the streets in you Sien
struck the steeple bell of my brain
with a screaming lightning 
yet your touch tempered the terror of failure
when the morning came to wake the future,
love only had a minute for us in our poor madness
destiny drug me away from you doggedly,
the streets needed your sadness,
the land beckoned my hand,

I coagulate color
flesh to canvas
bone to brush
blood to beauty
spit to splendor
sweat to sway
thumping the texture
creaming the colours
splitting the spattered strokes
my sunlight does not sputter
it spews sensation
spurs spirit into spine
poplars pout
cypresses scrunch and soar
the fields flex and fragrance 
I slap and smudge
hysterical  harmony
harvested in the heat of honesty
the wind is with me
in the sun I am suckled
cobalt clamours
ultramarine magnifies
my greens are grim and glamorous 
grown from the ground
yellows yearn for youth
and my purples pine plush in passion
roses repose in romantic reputation
my ivy invites violet visions
the irises invoke pause for pleasure
peasents power the profound pulse,

He always wanted my ear, and my pallate,
so I gave him what I could live without,
Paul's personality was always like a bruise on the brain
blunt and constant
boisterous beliefs bellowing blanching basics,
Arles was nothing but aggravation in the 3rd degree for me,
all I wanted there was the light
instead I got mongrel  growls and dirty cowgirls,
that town arrested me for my art
because my soul wouldn't be stunted,

You've given me my asylum Saint Remy
a solitary sanctuary for my splintering self portrait,
I'm shaking in shades of insane sublimity
the reaper is restless
the stars are spinning 
the sky is rolling
my heart is bursting,

Are you with us Vincent...
I'm where the sunflowers turn...
Vincent wake up!, look at me...
I can taste the paint!!!...
That's not paint, it's blood,
you shot yourself in the chest...
Theo, come walk with me...


This poem is dedicated to Vincent Van Gogh,
a man who lived to master his craft
and to give new beauty to the world.
I give thanks to the art scholar W.H. Auden who wrote,
Van Gogh A Self Portrait Letters Revealing His Life
As A Painter, and the art scholars Ingo F. Walther
and Rainer Metzger whom wrote,
Vincent Van Gogh The Complete Paintings.
I began composing this poem on October  17th,
and through the Grace of Providence finished it
on October  23rd, 2018 at 10:08 pm.
I put approximately  21 hours of intellectual  labor
into this composition...Justin A. Bordner

Copyright © | Year Posted 2018

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Date: 1/28/2019 3:01:00 PM
The luster for color and endearing fixation on yellow in particular for this piece befits Van Gogh so well."my sunlight does not sputter it spews sensation" Love that! There's nothing unlovable about his art. This is an immensely beautiful piece of work - definitely a favorite, as the sunflowers are my favorite too. Always, Laura
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Justin Bordner
Date: 1/30/2019 6:29:00 PM
Sunflowers have an instinct for the heat of the Light, Van Gogh also turned the face of his soul to the Light of Creation and could not bear to look away my beautiful Poetess...he was born to burn beautifully...J.A.B
Date: 12/10/2018 5:38:00 PM
Hi, Justin, this is truly a work of art. Enjoyed. the experience of reading such work..
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Justin Bordner
Date: 12/10/2018 9:15:00 PM
Thank you Poet...If Life is not art, then it is nothing at all...J.A.B.