by Kitty Jospe
What the Paint Can Do
It’s more than image of a face,
more than piercing, penetrating gaze—
the paint leaps in the background,
becomes flame and firefly on the skin,
livens the sun on that yellow hat,
trumpeting in the key of jaune—
bright and close to jaunty.
In the artist’s brush, the paint will not cease its
entrechats, refuses to be stilled—concentrates
energy of lightening—desire squeezed into each
color, shining, bright, glad—akin
to the sound of glathr, rooted in joy.
 etymology of “glad” related to Old Norse, glathr‘ bright, joyous.’
This poem was inspired by the Van Gogh Self-Portrait with a Straw Hat.
Meditation on No Longer
The ghost of lost, balancing on his beam
oils the hasp of locks, before starting anew
mixing his pain perdu, of beaten egg with cream…
That island of butter melting, might seem to a few,
a disappearance, or a mere transformation,
to others something no longer in view.
I think of lost letters, variations and permutation,
how thorn as the translated to “Ye”
was a misunderstanding in the translation.
But our host, welcomes all forgotten, cast off debris.
Do not be sad when something is no longer
he says. Change is at the root of every tree.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
they say. I just like this idea of a host
for what is lost. It allows wonder—
to wander, like a lost river, an echo of ghost
unseen, but heard. Why not restore stale bread
to something as palatable as French Toast?
in Japanese means
the sunlight filtering
in an interplay
a corner of a moment—
a movement fluttering
rays of light catch
bees in the beech
I thank this word, how its silk of syllables
ribbon my flight of questions about the bees—
tumbling in the honeydew of beech leaves
to savor the secrets of woolly aphids.
Perhaps there is a word for this interplay—
For me, the syllables capture now the magic
of circadian rhythms, pollen-dusted feet—
an imperceptible rustle in a dance of light—