A nosegay for my love

posies
A nosegay, John Lyons (oil on wooden lid)

A nosegay for my love

a posy
a spray
a bunch
a bouquet

art
of the moment
a cast-off
on the lid
of a wooden box

a throwaway
dashed off
with scant attention
to detail

an action painting
an act of love
to render a thought
or rather
a feeling

an engagement
with the medium
flowers that emerge
out of nothing

ephemeral
merely to state
that love
is the part of us
that never dies

John Lyons


In an essay entitled, A process of painting, Robert Motherwell wrote : “A painting is not a picture of something in front of your eyes—a model, say, primarily. It is an attack on the medium which then comes to “mean” something.”

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The beating heart

The beating heart

Certain terms
make me smile
action painting
for example

Every painting
ever done
is the result
of a series of actions

thought
word and deed
—and painting
is a language

Robert Motherwell
a highly literate artist
wrote
that he preferred
to see
rather than read

But what could he
possibly see
without reading
the language
in which
it was written ?

Art
is feeling
the integrity of feeling
: it comes through
in the radiance
of light

John Lyons


Robert Motherwell (1915-1991) was one of the youngest of the New York School, which also included Philip Guston, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko. This poem draws on a reading of The Collected Writings of Robert Motherwell, edited by Stephanie Terenzio.