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by Gerard Garcia

Sunny bright provincial May
Conspiring against evil's desperate trance
At the sanitarium Saint-Paul-de-Mausolée
Into the garden you turned your pensive glance
Amidst pastoral garden floral display
Seeking peaceful quiet for your soul to keep
But grace did not come this way
As you witnessed the whole world asleep
While you harmonized bold colorful extremes
Giving us a taste of your enigmatic awe
Expressing your deepest struggles and dreams
With an image not of what you saw
Nor of what you pretended to paint
In the silent aloneness of a poet or saint
Desperately suffering
Conscious of your hidden intent
From the shadows of your temperament
Symbolically hinting at what you meant
Unremittingly giving us another chance to see
The regenerative sovereign power of natural beauty
Through haunted blue eyes and bold blotched palette
A symphony of purple, blue, green, orange, and violet
This perhaps your unceasing prayer
To Father, Son, and Holy Ghost
For help from what was not diagnosed
You the compelling artist attempting to be free
Longing recognition from an absent grieving mother
She might have loved you if you were the other
The other Vincent your brother
From the agony in the garden you cried:
"My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?"
But grace would not come your way
And so there you symbolically stood
As a single iris as white as pure
A beguiling transfiguration cure
In grand portraiture like no other could
On sturdy dark green unhidden straight stem
Reborn amongst but not one of them
From dark asylum of rejection freed
Emigrant from unavailing mother's care
Rise up Vincent fore your irises shall bear
Your genius forever forward indeed
As a single white iris silently decreed
From sunny fields and provincial air
Of rewards that wait for those who dare
Beyond sensibility's harrowing gate
Beyond destiny and fate
Gerard Garcia
July 1998

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