Poem 97: Self-portrait on a blank canvas

(Today’s story will make an appearance at midday (New Zealand time). But first I wanted to post a poem. This is the third (and possibly final) self-portrait poem. The first was “Self-portrait in landscape“. The second was “Self-portrait in still life“. And here’s the third – “Self-portrait on a blank canvas”. Thanks for taking the time to read/listen!)

The blank canvas calls for colour;
a pale blue perhaps for endless sky,
a fresh-filled swimming pool,
Our Lady of Lourdes,
a blue cat.

Perhaps a vibrant green
for vernal growth,
jade parakeets,
new chestnut leaves,
bile spewed or envy all-consuming.
Not everything on a palate’s palatable.

Blotches of red;
too much splattered that
the portrait’s doomed and ruined.
Scarlet garnets show for miles.
There’s no grace in brazen crimson,
no joy in bloodshot blood.
I wish that red would fade.

Other tints ungrace and grace the picture:
a cowardly yellow,
fractured gold,
orange sunlight shattered, a purple patch,
brown (common brown), a slice of black, a splash of grey,
bits of missed transparent canvas.

Sometimes a person comes along
and scrawls unprompted in a space.
Most (but first let me stir another sweetened brew)…
most enter; and exit after scribbling… nothing much.
They mutter in their passing, “What a… what a mess.”

I’m sorry, but it’s all there is and it’s all I’ve got.

To hear the poem being read click HERE!

18 thoughts on “Poem 97: Self-portrait on a blank canvas

  1. umashankar

    Such a riot of colours and emotions, experience of a lifetime packed in kernels ready to explode! It is a complex poem, and a still challenging canvas, for they pause you in the middle here and there and make you sit and ponder. Why did you say it is possibly the last? It is one of the best songs from your heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. badfinger20 (Max)

    Bruce you are a true Renaissance Man… I like both the painting and the poem. I’m not an expert at poetry but it reads great and has a nice flow.

    Again I picture you in a smoking jacket, smoking a pipe, while sitting in a red velvet chair..thats the metal picture when I listen!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bruce Post author

      Thank you Max. If you really want to know (and you probably don’t) this morning I rushed to my computer because I had forgotten to record the poem. So it was the first thing I did. And then I got dressed – and it’s winter and was freezing. Such are the sacrifices one makes for Art.

      Liked by 1 person


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