Stories and Seasons in Yellow

I start a yellow poem:

A bee trails yellow
pollen from bloom
to bloom….

Sunflowers trace arcs
east to west blazing yellow
back at their commander….

A yellow villain beats
cowardly retreat although his
gunfight’s just begun….

In an ancient urn
their dry scroll of yellowed
manuscript curls….

Scraps of a letter yellowed
by scorch in last night’s burn
litter her cold fireplace.…

Each yellow thread begins to weave
its story, unravels its poem.

I paint signals in a still life:

Glass of lemonade, fireflies,
yellow wicker:
Summer time….

Yellow leaves and gourds.
A yellow cat sleeps:
Fall….

Yellow lamps glow, yellow
mugs steam, yellowed books askew:
Winter….

Daffodils in cut glass
vases on yellow linens:
Spring….

Each brushstroke catches shape, conveys
light, as it was, not before, not after, caught
on a flat plane, spring, summer, winter or fall

Signals hover, in a landscape:

Sun blazes: sunflowers blast yellow
back in row after row after row:
Summer….

Under blaring blue sky, Ohio’s cornfields:
row follows row of dry yellow stalks:
Fall….

Pale yellow sun hangs low,
bare trees cast long purple shadows:
Winter….

At Giverny, field of yellow irises,
distant morning haze of blue:
Spring…

Each vista emerges from brush and paint,
coaxed by hand, guided by eyes
as they saw it, or wanted to see it, right then.

©2014 Marguerite Beck-Rex

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About inkpaintwords

A feminist writer and artist with a penchant for all things French, living in Washington DC. My love of language led me, indirectly, to my pleasure in gardening, drawing and watercolor. It began with a book, a collection of New Yorker garden columns by Katherine White, wife of its founding editor E.B.White. Her enthusiastic appraisal of the literary merit of various garden catalogs led me to collect and keep her favorites as well as to hoard with them some more recently-emerged seed, bulb and seed catalogs. The beautiful catalogs inspired me to little by little turn our entire front lawn (our home had a wooded ravine close behind) into a garden. That grew into a lovely site with two simple arches, a gliding bench on a little sitting patio and modest slate paths winding through beds of shade lovers and whatever plants supposedly in need of full sun that I could manage to coax into colorful healthy bloom. A curiosity about color and color theory emerged as I became keenly interested in impressionist painters; that interest merged in some way with my urge to garden. I acquired more than one book about Monet’s garden and gardens of other impressionist painters, both French and American. One day I picked up a magazine for painters, and found inside an article about a painter I’d known. Among examples of her splendid watercolor paintings was her watercolor of her garden at that time. Suddenly I could think of nothing more exciting than painting my garden. I enrolled in her watercolor class in The Art League in Alexandria, VA. The influence that the collection of Katherine White’s columns about the literary merits of certain garden catalogs has had on my life has come full now. Ink, Paint & Words combines what has become an obsession with drawing and watercolor with my passion for language. Yes, I still garden. A table full of blooming potted plants sits on my apartment patio, backed by an ivy covered fence with park trees behind. My patio, and my larger environment of Washington DC, together provides wonderful vistas for drawing and painting. For a number of years annual trips to France gave me and my companions extravagantly colorful panoramas and charming tableaux for brush and pen. And yes, now I’ve painted in Monet’s gardens several times. But that, as they say, is another story.
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3 Responses to Stories and Seasons in Yellow

  1. Elizabeth Lowenstein says:

    Thanks for sharing these beautiful things! How wonderful that while we all scurry around keeping appointments, fetching supplies, tending to what appear to be necessities, you take time to create these lovely thoughts and images and share them all with us.

  2. -- Lesser says:

    Marguerite — You’re a splendid poet. This poem vividly establishes an effective visual framework. I can appreciate in a way I didn’t until I saw your poem how much that we love to look at (in the natural world) is a shade of yellow. Very nice. — L.

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