The Agapanthus Triptych
“There are Frenchmen who fight, I can only paint.”
Claude Monet, 1916
Every day trains rumbled at the edge of the garden,
carrying the troops in, bearing the bodies out.
He painted the agapanthus, the water lilies
their solace, this sanctuary.
Always it is about light—the way it bends, shifts
diffuses to catch for an instant the ephemeral
set it down, as if to hold it --
that moment of seeing.
All foreground, no horizon
a luminous lily pond wrapped in calm
cobalt blue and violet, viridian green.
Mist and vapors drift on the surface, brilliant blossoms
seem to swing into air overhead.
In the centre on a lily pad,
sudden dabs of vermillion red.
In the end he painted them out.
The agapanthus disappear under layers --
emerald and cadmium-yellow brush strokes,
dense packed reeds and grasses.
We have the lilies, the reflected sky,
clouds hovering over, shadows of willows,
racketing trains, the water bearing it all.
Sigrun Susan Lane
Sigrun Susan Lane is a Seattle poet. Her poems poems have appeared in a number of regional and national publications including Arnazella, Albatross, Bellowing Ark, Blue Collar Review, Cascade, Chrysanthemum, Crab Creek Review, Cirque, Duckabush, Hubbub, Floating Bridge Press Vol. # 4, 5, 6, 7, JAMA, The Mom Egg, Malahat Review, Melusine, Passager, The Poeming Pigeon, Pontoon # 10, Rain City Review, Raven Chronicles, Sing Heavenly Muse, Seattle Review, Stringtown and Still Crazy.
She has have received awards for poetry from the Seattle and the King County Arts Commissions. She has published two chap books from Goldfish press, Little Bones and most recently Salt in 2020. She is a docent at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle Washington.
The Ekphrastic Review
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