March 2022

Back to Issue 11

Van Gogh, Saint Rémy, September 1889

By Edward Caruso


after Self-Portrait,1889


One looks to the eyes,

the jaw’s shape.


When a face is overlaid with questions

about solitude or unrest,

poverty or a lack of heart,

to search out moments that embellish life


a home adorned with tapestries

in a halo of candles


he who is bathed in this atmosphere

could be called priestly.


In twilight he escapes the sun,

the moon a stone that climbs out of woods

in leaden skies.


Such portraits – a painter refusing this song.

There’s no turning back, each still life

the illusion of permanence.