Celia Stuart-Powles – ⅠⅠ
“You know that the peony is Jeannin’s, the hollyhock belongs to
Quost, but the sunflower is mine in a way.”
Vincent Van Gogh to Theo, Letter 573
Nuenen, c., 23 January 1889 (Bulfinch Press)
Arrested by the small portrait, I
am not finished—not yet. The blue
Eyes stare with stamen-like seduction: fall
blossoms as the season zooms to an end.
Earlier beauties have set seed,
Sated with their own ripening, but here
The autumn flower’s slow trick
Lights up the room like afterglow.
How many colors in this face?
Ochre and tawny as turning leaves—
Russet and shaggy, tall on the stalk
Turning each day with the passing sun
fearful, hopeful—as it passes again . . .
How many faces to make a bouquet?
How many ways to pray?