En Plein Air- an Ekphrastic Haibun
The morning chill steeps into my tea, hands cupping the bowl slowly start to warm, but my toes are still freezing. In this predawn quiet along with the muzzein’s litany I hear a crow call, then another and still another while an all enveloping opalescent mist rises beyond the widow makers.
In the harvested field I see a haystack with its belly open, excavated, hollow.
I am reminded of the 25 canvases of ‘Haystacks’ painted by Claude Monet in Giverny to show the difference of light in various seasons. The one that attracts me most is "Wheatstacks (End of Summer)." It was one of the paintings discussed by the docent on our free Seniors Art Tour Day at the Art Institute of Chicago. Monet’s genius with the subtle colours displayed there are the same as those I now see in India.
Then Van Gogh’s last painting "Wheat Fields with Crows," also painted in 1890, comes to mind and a deep desolation engulfs me. I look at the dark lowering sky with crows over a wind-whipped wheat field. I wonder what angst drove him to shoot himself that day.
It is time for the Shradh to begin. For the next two weeks we will fast, pray and give offerings to the Brahmins, birds and animals in their name, seek blessings from our ancient ones. This year, I will add Monet and Van Gogh to my list of souls.
autumn equinox –
above the lightening
the last koel’s song
Poet's Note: Shradh is one of the most significant times to remember our ancestors and pray for the departed souls to rest in peace.
This haibun was first published at Nature Writing.
Dr. Ms Angelee Deodhar is an eye surgeon by profession as well as a haiku poet, translator, and artist. She lives and works in, Chandigarh India. Her haiku, haibun and haiga have been published internationally in various books and journals, and her work can be viewed on many websites.
1/18/2017 09:22:09 am
Dear Lorette,Thank you for posting this ekphrastic haibun ,one of my favourites,linking two of my faourite artists and my country together.
1/18/2017 10:35:36 am
1/18/2017 09:16:56 pm
Beautifully written ! Inspiring !
1/19/2017 10:27:49 am
Wonderful! I love how you bring Van Gogh in as well, Angelee.
1/20/2017 05:53:09 am
Such beautiful imagery which complements the artwork. Well done!
1/20/2017 11:16:27 am
Van Gogh happens to be one of my favourite artist and I have just begun reading 'Lust for Life'... This year I will add Monet and Van Gogh... just about sums up how much the two artists mean to Angelee. Elegant and simple as most of your works are.
1/21/2017 10:55:21 am
I am very glad you entitled this haibun "en plein air". It gives it such wonderful immediacy. One feels one is sharing this early morning-Van Gogh moment with you. Thank you!
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