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A painter's lament

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Selected poems


A painter's lament

They say the art of painting is dead

Not so say I

Just temporarily mislaid

Bright pixels dazzling, blinding the eyes and astonishing the senses


But a distant memory lurks and the Elders still have something

to say

In the shadowy past

I recall Vermeer's assistant grinding the crude pigments made of minerals crushed by mortar and pestle

Bought from the Apothecary

A shopping list of madders, vermilion and weld


If you listen carefully, the sound of each colour can be heard,

The scrunch of each mineral discerned

Each cadence, a trace of its former life

A finer distinction

Relieved of its cumbersome form

it becomes lighter and mixes with white spirit like a cocktail blast of violets, mauves and ochres

Ground to a fine powder and wet with new life


When you look at a painting something of the creator's spirit is mixed with the paint

Traces everywhere if you can feel hard enough

There is a need for painters still in this rushed existence

Something shaped by hand,

Immediate, awake

the artists' touch, the artists mark

The deft short brushstrokes that convey the stiff feathers of an upright bird

Or a brocade of dying colours on an old worn sofa,

An accent of red that heightens the blow

KAPOW Roy Lichtenstein

The languorous swipe of the brush across the canvas as the artist departs the studio.

Thiebaud's iced cakes moistened with creamy white frosting made of a thick impasto spread with a buttery knife across its form

With random swirls and strokes of alternating candy pinks and middle greens

Vivifying the finer vital senses

Their vibration

Kandinsky's music stretches

the succulent paint oozing from its tube, reeking of linseed and turps dribbling towards an unpainted canvas

The luscious stripes of candy oranges and lemons coiled around a stick next to an imitation 18th century blue Chinese vase

A still life of colourful toys

Lent to the imagination on an oily cloth of

spattered blue specks and dots of white and yellow juxtaposed against the

haemorrhaging reds and crimsons bleeding with life dripping like a Pollock onto the darkened wood floor

A bloody mess

This artist's studio

I stand in the middle and all around me

the heady vapours of mineral turps

are Intoxicating



Bluebeard Incorporated

I hear Bluebeard's cutting up souls these days

An impressive graduate

A PhD in Butchery

severing and classifying

body parts invisible to the eye


He's even got the little guys onto it

They've got that same deadly glint in their eyes


Going in for the kill

They'll be the Master Builders of the next generation

Castles in the air

of the highest definition of course

Dazzling to the eye

A blinding of consciousness

their bodies relegated to service vehicles


Bluebeard's contemporaries

Conferencing round the table,

Dissecting, planning, loaves of crusty bread and pulp

Repulsive and

Gorging on un-fattened lambs

starved of their Muse

padlocked Double

in rooms of grim and dimming lights


In these times I forget to pray to Jesus

The ultimate Sacrificial Lamb

Served on a platter

And the poets' words get mislaid while the bluebeards

masticate each sinew

laid bare and bloodied

A tremendous violence

A quota of souls marked

The poet's heart hidden

A treasure, nonetheless

A whisper

But ... I have the key



Little Salem

The lofty ones' own

A selfies each

Corroborates their hearsay

In their own image

God's image,

The Sin of Inflation tempts their inadequacies grown with

Egos ready to pop in greedy excitement

to be Proved Right


How that pale blue balloon grows Dangerously large and drifts Upwards

Into the celestial skies

Nearer God

Careful Icarus


The selfies' narrative, an Artefact of the times

their phones out on Arthur's round table

But we don't believe it

This slab is pointy and barbed

Pass the phone around, Chinese whispers

There's a leak and I hear from the Suit the same made up story by the son and the Sage,


Another version

It's all the same

Join the dots and the picture is clear,

Little Salem

Elders In cahoots

Preening their shiny hides and greasing the wheels of their own inferiority

Convinced Hirst's skull is made entirely of fake Diamonds

Of sugary platitudes of care and sycophancy

Concealing the big dark hole of ruin underneath

The kind of Death that has always existed

Side by side

Since the world began

a record exists of their assemblies

minutes taken of those Accused

further investigation of the lies created by Judges out of work

A platform of Injustice

The Antagonist required for powerful theatre

No audition required

This man is Chosen for his Voice

Dissonant to their drained ears

an Intolerance Immune to the Higher man's words

But below

The murky sea is not entirely hidden from view

A Big Mistake,

For the pedestrian observes with daylight vision and that is enough to see into the waters clearly

Why is it that the Higher Man is not recognised by these counterfeit kings and queens?

Self-appointed and sitting in their velvety thrones

their scepters beautifully polished and filed to a point

Courtly games performed among titty, gleeful applause

Pass the stick,

And poke it in the fire

'More fire' Giles Cory would have said to these Base Creatures

They cannot see the Pearl for the swine

And instead condemn the Highest of men

Their eyes covered with scales glued down Hard

with Ill Intent and


artificial light props up their disguise

But within the Higher Man

the sun warms his heart from within and without and

Accompanies him on his way



Barry GittinsClotilde Lopez is a practicing artist, playwright and poet and has recently begun writing poetry in Spanish. She is deeply connected to Jungian Psychology and Carmelite Spirituality.


Topic tags: Clotilde Lopez, poetry



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Existing comments

They say poetry is almost in the grave at best arcane , not so . Kapow Ms Lopez... Kapow! Bravo.

Al Stewart | 22 May 2018  

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