Just Click the Van Gogh image to take you to some of the comments made about the poems (but please send any new poems here)
The challenge is to watch the very short video that features all Van Gogh’s self-portrait and imagine what the artist might be trying to convey through these portraits – in other words if he could speak – what do you think he would he want to say to us? Alternatively you could just write a poem about Van Gogh the man or his work. The poem can be as profound as you want, or as daft as you like:) it can be long, short or even a haiku.
The idea behind the challenges is to publicise Bookstains (as well as having creative fun) so therefore it is imperative that the poet link to Bookstains to further the challenge.
In return the poem is copied to the challenges particular page and the poets own website mentioned with a link and the poem critiqued on not only Bookstains but also on the poets own blog or website.
If you wouldn’t put the poem on your own blog, please don’t send it to mine and expect me to promote it. This is a genuine challenge – please play fair:-)
(You can copy and paste the image if you want).
Only poems with a link to Bookstains will be published
The title of the poem is ‘Vincent could have told you’ but you don’t have to stick with that….
That’s the challenge! Are you up for it?
Please post your poems either under comments on here – or if you prefer sent me an email and I’ll put them on.
Here’s the first of the poems! this one is by Kserverny aka Artswebshow. please check out his blog it’s fantastic!
Oh why did the ladies never love me.
As i sit here in my velvet chair.
Chains of smoke swirl around me.
My dinner left lingering by the door.
Painting for the purpose of inner peace.
My thoughts, they say.
Oh why did the ladies never love me?
Life looks back in fall.
Relying for my income on dear little brother.
Oh the shame, it makes me insane.
I burn and cut for you people.
Yet none will look my way.
Stewing in my little bed.
Oh why did the ladies never love me?
Life looks back in fall.
The tormented candle flickers softly now.
Obsessive working grips me tight.
No interest gained off local peers.
I fear my end is in sight.
I softly said.
Oh why did the ladies never love me?
Life looks down in winter.
People tread upon the floor.
Above the sunflowers fill them with awe.
Such a valuable epiphany,
Of a time travelled long before.
The painting remains silent.
Ladies flock around him.
Standing proudly on the wall.
POEM NO: 2 is by bended spoon who has a very upbeat and positive website – guaranteed to raise a smile (this is the second time he’s made my day! Please check him out:)
are you aware
what you have put me through?
invited me to a poetry challenge
though i am not a poet.
but for the fun of it
here it is.
i see that you are obsessed
with your myriad faces.
don’t tell me you’re not
why paint a lot?
i admire you man
we both lack self-confidence
but still we want to give happiness.
so i guess what you are trying to say
in your self-portraits is,
‘no sense in taking thy own life
for thy own life has sense’.
Poem No:3 is by Linda Kruschke who has a lovely homely and welcoming blog! please check it out:)
Vincent Could Have Told You
My face changes
With the seasons
With my mood
I paint a changing me
But I remain
Beneath the face
What I call God
That which is love
It does not change
Poem No:4 is by Debbie Feller whose blog has ‘simple poems and simple faith’ please check it out!
I paint from the mirror
turning away to hide
my bad side
the eyes remain
Poem No:5 is by opoetoo who has a great blog full of poetry and musings – please give it a visit and you won’t be disappointed!
Ground /between stones
I feel the world turn
In your face
Of clay on canvas
up through the hard ground
Corn for crows to pluck and pillage
……………………… Corn enough
to feed the wonder of this planet
Poem No: 6 is by Adam Dustus who is a novelist, poet and graphic artist. He has a very well established blog and there’s lots to interest poets, writers and artists alike! Well worth a visit!
Light stricken, anxious eyes
Painting beautiful expressions sublime
Puddling tears that Starry Night
Too late, my work now recognized
Could not foresee what happened to me
Now millions on sales tags
Downloads to computer screens
Broadcasts of honors in stellar HD
Even documentaries all about me
Scandals, art thieves,
Dedicated museum wings
Mass produced grief…
Yet curation now kind
Since I razed my prime
They think priceless being
A tortured mind
Only my faces and work survive
Absinthesizing swirls refined
Depression claimed another life
Still art without end
Beyond my time
Poem No: 7 is from Steve whose blog ‘Heednotsteve’ has a bit about everything (but mostly fiction and poetry). its a good one so please give it a visit!
I know you
or at least
and faint brow,
your somber face
backwards to me, convenient
and the eyes,
I know the eyes
unflinching – I’ve never seen them closed
hopeful and doubtful
I might tell you
as if you might
PoemNo:8 is by Fireblossom. Her blog Shay’s word garden is full of original poetry. Check it out!
What? Oh, I’m fine. You’re sweet to ask.
“Dawg”. Ha ha.
Are you, like, still doing drawings and stuff?
Yeah? You’re pretty good. Seriously, dude.
You should, like, maybe take a class or something.
Have you ever signed up for an art class? No?
I think the community college offers them.
I took, I don’t know, some computer thing there once…it was okay, I guess.
I met Rick there.
Yeah, Rick, this guy I’m seeing, or like, we’re hanging out and that.
Look, Vince, I need to tell you,
You’re a nice guy and all. Some girl is out there for you.
No kidding, a lot of girls really like beards. For real!
My friend, she’s totally all about dudes who look like these mountain men or something.
Hey, I didn’t mean…
It looks good. No lie.
I’m not really into art or that, and Rick, he’s kind of into the whole surfer, keg party thing.
Well, what I mean is,
Here’s your ear.
I wrapped it in, I don’t know, this napkin from Chicken Shack.
I didn’t, like, use it at all, it’s clean.
Maybe they can re-attach it?
But dude, seriously,
Don’t, like, send me the other one or anything, you know?
It’s gross, I have to be honest with you.
Gross. As hell.
What were you thinking?
Don’t go all crumpled looking,
My dog does that and I can’t deal.
He’s at my mom’s now…
Well, I know, like you care, right? I just ramble, whatever.
So, check out those art classes.
Maybe you could even sell one of your paintings?
Use the money to buy a new jacket or something.
Good luck, Vince.
I gotta run, Rick hates it if I keep him waiting.
And no more ears!
car door slamming
lipstick adjustment in rearview mirror)
What a fucking nut case!
Poem No: 9 is our first Haiku and its contributed by the wonderful Eva from the equally wonderfully artistic and poetical blog 47whitebuffalo. There’s lots of goodies there – please call in:)
eyes catching light play
all ways fleeting here to there
oranges splashing blues
Our 10 poem is by Dawn Runs Amok (D.C. McKenzie) who has a lovely poetry and music blog here. The poem is called Fou Roux. The author is an avid fan of Vincent Van Gogh and this was written especially for the 120th memorial of the artists’ death.
Fou Roux ~the redheaded madman
~by D.C. McKenzie
Thirty good and wholesome
townspeople of Arles, neighbors all,
have had your yellow house closed by the cops
And you, Vincent, saw your worst fear come to pass
as, at last, you were hauled off to the Asylum.
There it took three days of solitary
confinement to regain your Self.
Gauguin is gone. It is true, Paul has left:
but not before it was too late
to stop the juggernaut of sorrow and arrest.
(and by the way, Paul Gauguin
you windbag, you…cross-eyed thief,
it had been raining for days on end—
how did you hear his footstep
so soft behind you in the downpour?
In the darkness, without lamp or light—
how did you see the blade with which
you claim Vincent menaced you so?)
You are scared now, Vincent…aren’t you?
All about you are the insane and their keepers.
Have you come to believe the vicious gossip?
Has it truly come to that at the last? Madness?
Or is it a worse ailment? Failure.
Not as an artist before the public,
that fickle beast, you know too well
it was never really about acceptance
rather, a failure to render your vision into reality.
That, I fear, is what broke you—so finally, so completely.
Now, you are surrounded by chaos and heartbreak.
Bedlam brimming in broken minds: without order, without colour,
as if you have been cast upon a fey, monochrome wind.
Alas too, the sky above you has become foreboding,
pressing upon you as much so as the pressure of poverty
skulking in the shade. For to be a burden upon Theo
and his family is a thing you loathe most of all.
There is so much that I will never understand.
Yet, this I truly know, Vincent:
Hunger is nothing next to Emptiness
(don’t believe? try it.)
—a hideous non-thing that steals away our very senses.
Of emptiness there can be no solace.
It is a thing every suicide instinctively knows.
In the end, it is not loneliness, but emptiness
which we seek to escape; and by which we are undone.
The sky, hitherto your collaborator,
your vista upon a far too vivid Now, is shuttered.
It has become a coffer of looming cobalt clouds.
In this Now, even absinthe and spirits cannot ease the pain
or bring surcease to the seizure and the sorrow.
Smiling a scarecrow smile to even behold it—
the sunlight which was once your gilded muse,
once your benevolent ally in a hostile world,
huddles forlorn in your cell
caught in a corner of the ceiling
where your brush cannot reach.
A sun that is present only amidst fields
populated by an unkindness of crows.
Furrowed ground lies beneath hulking slate-blue skies
and wheat sheaves, bound into pyre-like haystacks,
which you have roughly carved in cadmium and ochre
on a canvas barely able to withstand your demands.
Although they make much of the crows,
it is the blackviolet vault of the sky
which brings a stab of empathy
for the agony and despair of your last days.
Thunderclouds roiling greyblue
broken by oblique rays of a mantled, yet majestic, sun.
Oh, they make much of the crows, but…no, Vincent,
it is the turmoil of the skies that signaled your peril.
Wheat Field with Crows~Auvers 1890
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