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Van Gogh

by Mason Swinney

A pastor's assistant,
Helping the poor
Art dealer and artist
There has to be more.

Off to seminary
Like Grandpa and Dad
But Greek and Hebrew
Were to hard for the lad.

Living with miners
They liked him a lot,
Tried being Jesus to 'em
Getting canned's what he got.

Crushed by religion
Church buildings, no lights
God's looking from heaven
On those dark starry nights.

Vincent learned a hard lesson,
Be like Christ you're  adored;
But live as Christ lived 
And it's you they abhor.

God spoke to him in nature,
He spoke to God with paint
Broad strokes his exclamation,
His night time spent with saints.

His passion for God's comments,
Olive groves and fields of wheat,
Cypress trees and irises
God's creation made complete.

Sunflowers by the dozens,
The weavers and the loom;
His friends potato eaters,
prostitutes and gloom and gloom.

His heart so often broken,
Uncle Stricker got in the way,
Betrayals hard to handle,
He won't let sweet Kee stay.

But Theo believed in him
when few others did
And helped to support him,
And put his art out to bid.

People can make us
Or break us into
Each put in our paths
By the God that we choose.

Vincent saw brief glimpses
Of real life along the way;
And knew the choice was keep it
Or give it away.

Thankfully he chose to share it
From the platform that he had,
His pallet was his mouth piece
And for that we're truly glad.

His genius left  his pallet,
His depression stayed behind;
His art got all the brighter
His sanity marking time.

His genius made us better
His art his legacy
As we ponder and we marvel
At the world that he did see.

But genius and wisdom
Or not the same thing,
Mistaking one for the other
Much heart ache it brings.

Vincent cut off his ear,
When they wouldn't listen;
He took his own life
When they didn't care.

Was it insanity or suicide that
Caused him to end his gifted life
His pain we can't imagine,
only God knows his mind.

Suicides seldom heroic
Not even a real choice;
It's a no win decision
That leaves your hope without a voice.

He left us his treasure
It's time finally arrived
Depression now past him
His genius would survive.

Perhaps the lesson learned
And seen throughout his art,
Is life may have failed him
But his God was always there.

And God's in the simple,
The day to day things
Like butterflies and sorrow
And life's colors that they bring.

And when staring up at heaven
Seeing the stars shining bright,
Be sure to think of Vincent
And his bright and starry night.

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