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"Vincent at Saint-Remy"

by Marc MacNair


VII.    Vincent at Saint-Remy (Starry Night)

It appeared to be a storm

the first time I looked at it. . .

Troubled night,

Natureís angry heart

Calmed by simple charity;

Giving your nightmares

Gentle form


Not a storm, but still windy;

the wind, perhaps, was swirling. . .

Hazy night

Wind carrying hopes

Of naÔve citizenry

Past the aloof stars,

Benign moon


The stars hung still

but appeared to dance. . .

Starry night,

Silent and unconcerned

A toneless music

Setting the heavens

To reel


The moon in phase, yet full

in the light that it provides. . .

A bright night

Crescent speaking

To darkness,

"I decline, yet I defy

your rule."


The mountainous barrier between

Saint-Remy and the rest of France. . .

Fitful night,

Stars peeking through haze

A storm, massing at the gates

Residents at siege

Waiting, safe


No! The mountains are a wall,

but between Saint-Remy and heaven. . .

Fateful night,

Happening as it must,

The mountains holding the sinners

In the grace-full basin

Planned for, prescribed


The town is quiet, that is certain.

The light from the windows reflecting the stars. . .

Silent night,

The twinkle in the glass

The only indication

Of one momentís change

From others


The church strives for heaven and the

The cypress reaches it. . .

Holy night,

A sermon from the hillside,

Your view suggesting

The value of piety,

Of character


There is energy to the scene and

that, perhaps, is what flows. . .

Passionate night,

A blazing, energetic scene

Ignited by the simple

Play of stars in

Easy motion


Which star belongs to Vincent?

Which belongs to me?

Thoughtful night

Memory of that star

Must have demonized your dreams

Until exorcised,



A moving feast, difficult

to serve to moving company. . .

The madhouse! Madness?

I can only wish

For a small bit

Of the insanity that allowed

The small people in those houses

To be blessed

With an immortality of which

They would be always



Starry night,

Moon bright, waning,

Illuminating cypress, steeple,

Capturing a stormy peace

Over Saint-Remy

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