My Chagall

These words denote my circumstance

Make me an habitue

A sentimentalist, the observer of my heart

They bring me 'round the world to the world I face, 

These scenes my discovery in a night without sleep, 

 

A Récamier, my ingenue, the innocent muse;

I would paint you with bold and subtle strokes, awash in blue

Your generous and inquisitive nature

The shape of you

You hold within, your purity, a resignation

Your beauty blessed, that hot mouth

But unknown to you,

In the dark shallows of your pools, an unfathomable risk

Your arms folded about your breasts

Disallowing the tremulous heart to confess

Only let out to play, cautiously

 

Integrity denies the flesh, the soul

the passion that would burn in congress 

For the end to come

 

This then is us

Inviolable, 

Passing in an evaporated storm

Poem written on a sleepless night arriving from Milan, June 2018. for M.

This photo from the Chagall exhibition at Centre Pompidou, Paris, June 2018; next photo taken in the Tuileries. Music: David Sylvian 'When poets dreamed of angels'.

Copyright 2016 John Williams