a painter reflects

a painter reflects 
to Klingsor of ‘Klingsor’s Last Summer’ by Hermann Hesse
july 2015

Image sourced from Paris Review & credited there as follows: Artwork By Hermann Hesse. Photograph by Martin Hesse Erben. Courtesy Of Volker Michels.

for me the loveliest lovers
were the landscapes the
aged the young naked in
sun or shower and no face
to stare you down in disdain
to question your eyes and
whatever right you might or
might not have to even look
they simply lay in the fullness
of harvest or lean with winter
honest to the point they cracked
open in summer dryness swelled
with river cried out in the flush
of light an afternoon storm
cast upon them entered your
eyes fumbled about your heart
warming the stones of old
loves burned out in fires
kindled under the wind-risen
pines they wore the loveliest
of perfumes summer hay
lavender jasmine loosed
across the dusk held you
against their body as you lay
to gather the first star
in the palm of your eye
they were the loveliest the
truest of those i loved
i served them only
as long as i could
lay them under
the brush lay remembrance
thick upon them dabbed up
from a bloody palette of
beauties i gutted there once
and drank to the dregs
served them then broke
with them for yet another
and as for faces?
there were always
the women who haunted
my glass of wine my cigar
smoke with a splash of skin
to stagger the eye and drag
me toward whatever curve
of body or soul they
would put my way.
god the heart’s
but a foolish
piano this
old bird has
banged out
the loveliest of lovers
were the landscapes
and i was only
true hopelessly
true to them
as long as
i needed.

Copyright © 2017 Peter Le Baige. All Rights Reserved.  

Click on the link above to hear a reading of the poem.  The accompanying music is from a performance by Krystian Zimerman of Ballade No. 3 in A flat major, Op. 47 by Federic Chopin.

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