The Cloud

The Cloud, Robert A. Sieczkiewicz

A pouch of silver, a desire for more
My eyes saw the holy city main gate.
Sense of eeriness, I nev’r felt before,
From within a cloud, God announced my fate.

Without question, He called my name.
I grabbed for my chest, in terrible fear
Falling to the ground, as if to be lame
As each of His commands entered my ear.

Purchase the fallow flat land on your right.
Not a step closer to Jerusalem.
Grow the best wheat, grapes, and trees, on this site.
Will send my only son, listen to him.

His commands understood, but not the last.
Know not you have a son, my Holy Lord.
Will become known soon, by your questions asked.
He will come as King of Peace, not the sword.

With my inheritance, I purchased fields
Summing fifteen thousand square cubits, built
A small house and a barn, for the wheat yields
All was modest, with not a sign of gilt.

Row upon row olive trees, lift their arms
Along with the wind, sing praise to our God.
Soon they mature and show many green charms.
A sign of God’s true blessed work, held me awed.

Before the trees matured, grape vines gave fruit
Kissed by the sun each day became fine wine.
Buy my wine they do, on ques they are mute.
The years go by, and I’m without a sign.

Early on, wheat has given daily bread,
Which I thank God for providing this gift.
Each day I remind Him of what he said,
His Son He’d send. I’m eager so be swift.

Thirty Passovers ago I met fate.
In those years, I have been ever faithful.
Old and weak, time so little, I’m too late.
Yet still an empty seat at my table.

Roman soldiers with axes came today.
Chopped down six of tallest and strongest trees.
Why must you do this. Six coins fly to pay
For the trees. Crucifixion – made me freeze.

Road to the holy city is busy
People stop to buy my bread, wine and oil.
Some eager to talk, others too weary.
Quest for the Son, I continue to toil.

Crowds grow thicker, is time for Passover
In the crowd, was a man, whose eyes I knew,
Yet never met. One who was a drover
Of souls. Surely one to give me a clue.

Clos’r the stranger came to me, the more white
His clothing became. You know my father
He said to me. Body consumed with fright
Prostrate before him hoped thoughts to gather.

His hand offered, I took with fear, accept
Not a word said. Love moved from His body
To my frail old body with great adept.
Through His blessed eyes I was embodied.

In the shade of the olive tree, I sat
The Rabbi. Water and bread I did serve
To Him, and spread at His feet my worn mat.
Rabbi I do not know what I observe.

Jesus said to me, I am here to give
Those who believe in me life eternal
And though they have fallen I will forgive.
In the sight of Father they’ll be vernal.

You have followed Father’s many wishes
Is now my turn to do the very same.
Shortly Pilot and his militias,
Will kill me for the kingdom that I claim.

Rabbi, I know not how to address thee.
Jesus of Nazareth was his reply.
Feeling a touch, like a branch of a tree
on my shoulder, I quickly turned an eye.

He was known as James son of Zebedee.
Returning my head back. Jesus was gone.
Where is he James. Must know what I believe.
James said, must fulfill reason he was born.

Faithful to God I wish to be faithful
To his Son. Please let me follow your path.
To stagnate my life here would be wasteful,
Let me die for Jesus by Roman wrath.

My mule packed high with many a staple
And my frail gait quickly lengthened the space
Connecting groups, makes me late for table
Death sure to follow but must quicken pace.

Mule and I passed through, the holy city
Gate. James was able to take the burden
with others once beyond reach of gritty
guards harming Jesus’ people again.

James was shown the bags, that were not chametz.
They would be to prepare Passover meal.
Meeting place secret, we met near fish nets
Passover meal at table all would kneel

Jesus offers a new covenant – Love
I had part of my answers. Jesus held
Work of human hands wheat and wine above
His head declared his Father’s words upheld

Jesus’ disciples fought hard among themselve,
As who would have the higher position,
In the Kingdom that would start with the twelve,
All hear Him, it was heaven they wish in.

All of His disciples go to be with Him
To pray at Garden of Gethsemane.
My wretched crippled body is quite grim
So I prop it up to reduce the pain.

Heard yells and screams in many languages
From the window I saw a multitude
Of angry people doing damages
While others moved in distraught attitude
Far in the distance the sun bounces off
Spear tips and helmets of the Roman guard
Could I possibly approach them and scoff
They would drench me with oil and leave me charred

With an olive crutch found, the street was soon
Under my feet. Where does this crowd go I
Needed to ask. Golgotha in a swoon
The place of the skull I see with my eye

Trying to fight the crowd they knocked me down
Using elbows found my way to the edge
Heard the cry that the crowd could not drown out
Hammer banging to nail flesh to nail’s edge

It felt if it was mid-afternoon when
I reached Jesus. His soul had been given
Up to His Father for all who have sin.
With the new covenant we’re forgiven

Andrew helped me stand, got close to Jesus.
Kissed His bloodied feet and cross so holy.
While waiting I knew the Father sees us.
Thank you for your trust in one so lowly.

Choice

Caspar_David_Friedrich_-_Mann_und_Frau_in_Betrachtung_des_Mondes_-_Alte_Nationalgalerie_Berlin

Choice, Robert A. Sieczkiewicz

The gathering was spellbound by each note.
Coded nod from afar was accepted.
Liszt gently stroked out Don Sanche as if rote,
As two figures moved unintercepted.

Once outside they feel exhilarated,
Embracing at each other’s waist they kiss.
Soon their love is to be consummated,
The love that shall for evermore persist.

Their silhouette is seen at the hill crest,
By both Aphrodite and Selene.
Ponder they do, why the gods stop our quest?
This intervention could not be foreseen.

For their love, the gods shall they disobey,
Or for their gods, their love shall they betray?

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The painting was done by Casper David Friedrich in 1824.  To me a very interesting complex painting.  Often said to representing an anti-Industrial Revolution mood.  Friedrich being a Romantic tended to emphasize the values of emotion, intuition, and sentiment.  We see plenty of these values in Man and Woman Contemplating the Moon.  Life is about choices and that is why I chose Choice for the poem’s name.

A little backstory on Aphrodite and Selene as used in the poem.  Other than the moon what else was in the sky? So I contacted the museum which presently holds the painting.  After some bouncing around I got an answer.  It was a star.  Not much help.  But because of its placement I took a leap of faith and assumed it to be the planet Venus and as we know that planet is associated with Aphrodite.

What Name Shall We Propose

AmberRose

What Name Shall We Propose, Robert A. Sieczkiewicz
March howling winds and blanketing snow gone.
Rebirth with April shower coaxed me out,
To the spot where seed planted will be born,
With fingers, cleared leaves, felt soil heat, saw sprout.

Prostrate upon the ground my heat did breathe,
On the cotyledon. Yes, I am here,
To protect and put  in place bell jar sheathe,
So you can grow strong without any fear.

The sun in June pulls you upward to her.
Waxen serrated leaves are flawless skin,
I drop oil on them to keep you ev’r pure.
Your peak bud is when your life shall begin.

Oh! Such beauty! What name shall we propose?
It can be no other than Amber Rose!

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There is no painting to discuss that goes with this poem.  It is a poem that I wrote to a close friend as a remembrance of her late daughter.  When I was into roses it was my hope to hybridize an orange-yellow rose and name it Amber Rose.  It never happen, so the least I could do is write a poem and share it  to keep the spirit of a young beautiful woman alive.

Madame X

Madame_X_(Madame_Pierre_Gautreau),_John_Singer_Sargent,_1884_(unfree_frame_crop)

 

Madame X

With excited heart she opened the box,
Exposing the long fine black silken dress.
Whence the gift did come showed no sign of shocks,
The lady’s admirer needed no guess.

It’s noon, Monsieur Sargent should soon arrive.
Smirk did she. This dress will turn countless head,
With noses held high they’ll look for my shrive.
No yield. Be assured the next gown they’ll dread.

She slipped into the gown with confidence,
Not that the gown would fit but in herself.
Her thought should not come with a consequent,
M’dame Gautreau was no trophy for a shelf.

Her admirer knew her for what she was.
She was driven, but accepted her flaws.

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As we can see by the poem the painter of Madame X was John Singer Sargent and the model was  Madame Pierre (Virginie) Gautreau.  During the period that the painting was done was a period of transition.  The feeling that I add is that Virginie was a free thinking woman who did not  relate well to the French bourgeoisie.  It has been rumored that Virginie had a lover.  However,  I have not made mention in the poem instead I include a gift from an admirer as a grenade for a point of change that was coming about in a more open society.  Women continued to be trophy brides but less so.  In the movie How He Fell In Love the husband of the woman have an affair was more concerned with his social standing than the cause of his wife’s infidelity. His trophy was tarnished.  I think Virginie was leading the first WYSIWYG movement

The following link will give you a lucid explanation of what was going on during the period as it relates to the Madame X painting.

Info on Madame X painting

 

 

 

Touring the Ottauquechee River

WilliamRDavis

 

Touring the Ottauquechee River

My two tour guides, aptly lead this old man
To river’s edge. Without hesitation
They go from stone to stone. I’ve yet began.
What fear have I to cause this cessation.

Advice was given, water would not reach
my knee. A small hand now was extended,
to move me not as a crutch, but to teach.
Regrettably, soon the crossing ended.

We scoured the banks looking for memories,
With stones a plenty and flowers for mom,
my guides attention so turned to cookies.
Our return to the house was filled with calm.

The stones and flowers will soon lose their way,
My heart will ever remember this day.

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The above painting was done by William R Davis of the Ottauquechee River which is a tributary of the Connecticut River and flows behind the escape cottage of my son and daughter-in-law.    On occasion I have the opportunity to  spend quality time there with my two youngest granddaughters.  Part of that time is spent down at the river’s edge.  Neither is fearful of the water which scares me at times.

It should be obvious that the stones are stepping stones to knowledge and here the tables are turn on the old man.  Youth teaches the old man a few things about nature.  Youth has taken over.  As they play they display their thoughts of how things should be.