Sketch for Le Bonheur de Vivre, 1905
So, this is a schematic, a long smear of teal on the left,
soft greens, synthetic blues, glowing golds mixed with
hard mineral pinks filling out the rest of the frame. Later,
this sketch will realize itself into a scene of bathers, serpentine
art nouveau curves lounging on the yellow lawn, the tropical
jungle foliage exploding behind them. But who can describe
the color of happiness? Could it be days like this, clear,
mellow, no fogs of loss creeping in? Days when not much
happens, the October sun coaxing gold from the leaves,
the earth turning one more notch? Let the busy world spin.
Let me sit here as the afternoon ripens. If happiness is a colour,
let it be tactile, tangible, something I can eat with a spoon.
Because all too soon, there will be Death, sitting in the corner,
nursing his cognac. Let me lick up all the sweetness while I can.
This poem is from the author's book, Les Fauves, C&R Press, 2017.
Barbara Crooker is a poetry editor for Italian-Americana, and has published eight full collections and twelve chapbooks. Her latest book is Les Fauves (C&R Press, 2017). She has won a number of awards, including the WB Yeats Society of New York Award, the Thomas Merton Poetry of the Sacred Award, and three Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Creative Writing Fellowships. A VCCA fellow, she has published widely in such journals as Nimrod, Poet Lore, Rattle, The Green Mountains Review, The Denver Quarterly, and The Beloit Poetry Journal. website: www.barbaracrooker.com
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