Off to Provence

St Trophime Cloisters

           St Trophime Cloisters, Arles

In the house that Jack built we’re all taking
a break     travelling down to Arles to visit
Vincent and Melody and the ghost of
Gauguin    In the late dry summer we will
sample the bouillabaisse and drink the wine,
we’ll dance with strangers
                      and forget our names
On the banks of the Rhône we’ll strip off to
bathe  :  and in the wheat fields
                                 we will count crows
Grace to be alive to enjoy such glor-
ious sunshine and to live off the fat
of the land    Patsy says I should pack my
brushes    but I remind her why I am
not a painter even though I dabble
from time to time:
                      but no, I’m really not

John Lyons

Fields of gold

yellow
Yellow, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

Fields of gold

I shall set this yellow canvas
           aside for a while
and wait to see
           what might grow in it
in the imagination
           Yellow the colour of
joy and energy and loyalty
           of intellect and fresh hope
of the wheat fields
           on the foothills
around Arles
           or the sunflowers
that Vincent so lovingly 
           painted with his life
the sky above him
           a chrome yellow
almost as bright
           as the sun itself

John Lyons

 

Vincent in Arles

sun_shot
Sun, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

Vincent in Arles

Under the scorching sun
           in Arles Vincent painted
fields of ripe wheat
           before the harvest

Wheat he discovered
           is the very same colour
as the sunlight
            whence it comes
confirming
           that the sun is
a deep-hued
           cadmium yellow

John Lyons