Saturday, 13 February 2016


duende, Spanish, has come to mean "the power of art to move people"
Originally written in 2013
Chance assembled them, dusted them down,
Dropped them in collectors’ velvety laps,
Gilded them, embossed them, framed them
To form that unique communion
Which now hangs on sterilised walls.
It is all lies; logic tells me so;
Monet was no friend of Rubens!
Yet here they sit together, contemplating
In shadowed courts and stippled bridgework
Mankind’s arcane empty yearnings.
They take the bellows to our feeble embers
And hose our lives’ desolate wastes.
When gathered together, Greco and Gauguin
Do not part company, but dance the other’s dance,
Slotting into some painterly matrix
Like hieroglyphic symbols all, all can read.

Renoir’s nudest nude, O’Keefe’s flowerest flower,
A weeping child, a massacre, a riverside picnic,
Whatever the scene, these visual prophets
Impart to us utmost truths we already know.

They recite in solidarity, with chisels and brushstrokes,
Art’s most eloquent discourse:
That, be fury or despair what it may,

The life is worth the living.

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