a painter reflects

a painter reflects 
         to Klingsor of ‘Klingsor’s Last Summer’ by Hermann Hesse

for me the loveliest lovers
were the landscapes the
aged the young naked in
sun or shower and no obvious
face to stare you down in
disdain to question your eyes
and whatever right you might
or might not have to even look
they simply lay in the fullness
of harvest or lean with winter
honest to the point they cracked
open in summer dryness swelled
with river cried out in the flush
of light an afternoon storm
cast upon them entered your
eyes fumbled about your heart
warming the stones of old
loves burned out in fires
kindled under the wind-risen
pines they wore the loveliest
of perfumes summer hay
lavender jasmine loosed
across the dusk no face
at all yet held you against
their body as you lay
to gather the first star
in the palm of your eye
they were the loveliest the
truest of those i loved
i served them only
as long as i could
lay them under
the brush lay remembrance
thick upon them dabbed up
from a bloody palette of
beauties i gutted there once
and drank to the dregs
served them then broke
with them for yet another
and as for faces?
there were always
the women who haunted
my glass of wine my cigar
with a splash of skin to
stagger the eye and drag
me toward whatever curve
of body or soul they
would put my way.
god the heart’s
but a foolish
piano this
old bird has
banged out
one-finger
melodies
upon.
the loveliest of lovers
were the landscapes
and i was only
true hopelessly
true to them
as long as
i needed.

july 2015

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3 thoughts on “a painter reflects”

  1. Many thanks, men. It’s funny you should say that, Marco, that line about the ‘old bird’ is somehow something I just thought Klingsor might say. There’s a scene in the book where the narrator wonders how they ever got the grand piano into the upper story of a villa. That piano, perhaps, ringing on in my head for years now!

  2. yes, those 1 finger melodies do it for me. This poem is absolutely beautiful. So is Hesse, & he might have written this: the feeling’s all there, anyway

  3. “god the heart’s
    but a foolish
    piano this
    old bird has
    banged out
    one-finger
    melodies
    upon.
    the loveliest of lovers…”

    funky, man. yes, to gaze over an open landscape, bare for your taking!

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