Monet Refuses The Operation

Doctor, you say there are no haloes
around the streetlights in Paris
and what I see is an aberration
caused by old age, an affliction.
I tell you it has taken me all my life
to arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels,
to soften and blur and finally banish
the edges you regret I don't see,
to learn that the line I called the horizon
does not exist and sky and water,
so long apart, are the same state of being.
Fifty-four years before I could see
Rouen cathedral is built
of parallel shafts of sun,
and now you want to restore
my youthful errors: fixed
notions of top and bottom,
the illusion of three-dimensional space,
wisteria separate
from the bridge it covers.
What can I say to convince you
the Houses of Parliament dissolves
night after night to become
the fluid dream of the Thames?
I will not return to a universe
of objects that don't know each other,
as if islands were not the lost children
of one great continent. The world
is flux, and light becomes what it touches,
becomes water, lilies on water,
above and below water,
becomes lilac and mauve and yellow
and white and cerulean lamps,
small fists passing sunlight
so quickly to one another
that it would take long, streaming hair
inside my brush to catch it.
To paint the speed of light!
Our weighted shapes, these verticals,
burn to mix with air
and change our bones, skin, clothes
to gases. Doctor,
if only you could see
how heaven pulls earth into its arms
and how infinitely the heart expands
to claim this world, blue vapor without end.

by Lisel Mueller

Comments (3)

LINDA..JUST GETTING READY TO SIGN OFF, WHEN I GOT YOUR MESSAGE. NO, ALTHOUGH I HAVE ENDEARED READING QUITE A FEW OF YOUR WORKS, I UNFORTUNATELY MISSED ON THIS ONE& SEVERAL OTHERS. I guess that old addage is a truism, that great minds think alike! I WROTE THIS PIECE A FEW DAY'S AFTER HER PASSING, AND IN FACT IS ONE OF THE WORKS INCLUDED IN MY SECOND BOOK OF VERSE, TITLED 'WITH CROWN IN HEART.'TO BE HONEST, ABOUT 20% OF THE WORK POSTED ON MY POEM LISTING, I CAME TO POEMHUNTER WITH.I DID HOWEVER RE-TUNE MOST OF THEM & THE REMAINING 80% IS FRESH WORK, AND WORK THAT I HOPE TO INCLUDE IN THE BOOK I AM CURRENTLY COORDINATING FOR A 'HOPEFUL' FALL PUB DATE. BUT LINDA...YOUR DIANA TRIBUTE IS A MASTERFUL SLICE OF VERSE... WELL STUCTURED, AND AS PER USUAL, SMOOTH, FLOWING IMAGERY. ANOTHER STELLAR JOB, NURSE ORI...AN M.J. SLAM DUNK...10!
Linda, I'm to assume this is about Diana, the Princes of Wails? From my stand point, she and Charles, really 'deserved' one another. Sorry...
I don't know what's going on with everybody on this site today... I've been sobbing for the last 45 minutes!