Archives for posts with tag: Claude Monet

waiting for dreams to end
by e. smith sleigh

I read or heard if you hit the ground in your dreams you will die in your sleep

at the rim of some precipice some building’s edge some cliff face teetering waiting for the shift the tenuous balance the tip over the final fall the plummet into the unknown strength or death at the end of the run

what compelled me why did I approach the edge allow the danger did I manufacture it or did others I never hit the ground or water the surface beneath me never breaks the hurt never manifests in my dreams death never comes I grab something I back up I fly I do not fall

I heard if you hit the ground in your dreams you will die in your sleep

the other night in a dream on a bridge I lunged plunged drove into the water sunk hit the bottom escaped the car pushed upward toward the surface air freedom end of another dream or is it I’m waiting

I’d run but I can’t my dreams paralyze me

IMAGE: “Cliff Near Dieppe in the Morning” by Claude Monet (1897).

essleigh5 - Copy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: e. smith sleigh writes poetry and historical fiction. She was educated at the universities of Delaware and Michigan, taught at the college level, and has traveled extensively. She now lives in Robert Penn Warren country. Within the year, her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Paper Darts, Squalorly, Kumquat Poetry, Kaleidoscope, the Fukushima Response Bay Area poetry project, Words Fly Away, Pankhearst’s Slimline Volume: No Love Lost, the 4th Issue of PRISM Ekphrasis, and The Criterion, Vol. 5, issue 5. On her website she blogs about Post Structuralism and Poetry.

by Jocelyn Mosman

The clock strikes midnight;
sunrise marks a new day:
a new attempt to make the world right,
another morning to waste away.

The clock strikes noon;
the sun reaches its lofty climax:
aged wisdom approaches too soon,
another afternoon heat does tax.

The clock strikes nine;
the sun sets on hazy skies:
age wrinkles the face of time,
guilt jabs with angry lies.

The clock strikes midnight, I confessed,
as two days, old and new, are laid to rest.

IMAGE: “Japanese Bridge and Water Lillies” by Claude Monet (1899). Clock available at


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jocelyn Mosman is a student at Mount Holyoke College, majoring in English and Politics. She is an active member of the Northampton Poetry group, the Poetry Society of Texas, and the founder of the West Texas Poets. She has been published in various anthologies and magazines, including Drunk Monkeys, Decanto, and Cum Laude Weekly. She has also published her own poetry book, Soul Music, and her second book, Soul Painting, arrived on July 1, 2014.

Author photo by Nadine’s Photography.

by Adrian Manning

half way
half way through, half way gone
where did it go? what happened
while I was not paying attention
people have gone, memories remain
memories have gone, people remain
half way from the brink
half way to the brink
half way from sanity
half way from insanity
half full, half empty
half way
it’s gone, it’s still to come

IMAGE: “Waterloo Bridge, London” by Claude Monet (1903).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Adrian Manning hails from Leicester, England, where he writes poems and is editor of Concrete Meat Press. His poetry appears in the Silver Birch Press Bukowski Anthology (August 2014) and the Silver Birch Press Noir Poetry Anthology (December 2014).

by Stanley Plumly

Some—the ones with fish names—grow so north
they last a month, six weeks at most.
Some others, named for the fields they look like,
last longer, smaller.

And these, in particular, whether trout or corn lily,
onion or bellwort, just cut
this morning and standing open in tapwater in the kitchen,
will close with the sun.

It is June, wildflowers on the table.
They are fresh an hour ago, like sliced lemons,
with the whole day ahead of them.
They could be common mayflower lilies of the valley,

day lilies, or the clustering Canada, large, gold,
long-stemmed as pasture roses, belled out over the vase–
or maybe Solomon’s seal, the petals
ranged in small toy pairs

or starry, tipped at the head like weeds.
They could be anonymous as weeds.
They are, in fact, the several names of the same thing,
lilies of the field, butter-and-eggs,

toadflax almost, the way the whites and yellows juxtapose,
and have “the look of flowers that are looked at,”
rooted as they are in water, glass, and air.
I remember the summer I picked everything,

flower and wildflower, singled them out in jars
with a name attached. And when they had dried as stubborn
as paper I put them on pages and named them again.
They were all lilies, even the hyacinth,

even the great pale flower in the hand of the dead.
I picked it, kept it in the book for years
before I knew who she was,
her face lily-white, kissed and dry and cold.

plumly ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Stanley Plumly was born in Barnesville, Ohio, in 1939, and grew up in the lumber and farming regions of Virginia and Ohio. His work has been honored with the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award and nominations for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the William Carlos Williams Award, and the Academy of Amerian Poets’ Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. He is currently a Distinguished University Professor and Professor of English at the University of Maryland. His poetry appeared in the Silver Birch Press Summer Anthology (2013).

PAINTING: “In the Meadow” by Claude Monet (1876)

by James Joyce

Winds of May, that dance on the sea,
Dancing a ring-around in glee
From furrow to furrow, while overhead
The foam flies up to be garlanded,
In silvery arches spanning the air,
Saw you my true love anywhere?
Welladay! Welladay!
For the winds of May!
Love is unhappy when love is away!

IMAGE: “The Stormy Sea” by Claude Monet (1840-1926).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: James Joyce (1882-1941) was an Irish author considered by many critics to have written the greatest novel of all time, Ulysses (1922). Other works include Dubliners (1914), A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916), and Finnegans Wake (1939). Joyce is known for his experimental use of language, extensive use of interior monologue, symbolism, and his puns, allusions, and invented words.

by Lisel Mueller

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 dissolve
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.
“Monet Refuses the Operation” appears in Lisel Mueller’s collection Second Language (Louisiana State University Press, 1996).

Painting: “Claude Monet, Self-Portrait” (1917)

Note: French Impressionist painter Claude Monet (1840-1926) developed the first signs of cataracts in 1914, but waited nine years before undergoing surgery for the condition. Some art critics believe that Monet painted his greatest work while suffering from cataracts, because his obscured vision caused him to see in new ways — a phenomenon that Lisel Mueller explores in her poem “Monet Refuses the Operation.”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR Lisel Mueller was born in Hamburg, Germany, in 1924 and immigrated to America at the age of 15. She graduated from the University of Evansville (Indiana) in 1944 and has taught at the University of Chicago, Elmhurst College in Illinois, and Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont. Mueller currently resides in a retirement community in Chicago. (Read more at

by Czeslaw Milosz

A day so happy.

Fog lifted early. I worked in the garden.

Hummingbirds were stopping over honeysuckle flowers.

There was no thing on earth I wanted to possess.

I knew no one worth my envying him.

Whatever evil I had suffered, I forgot.

To think that once I was the same man did not embarrass me.

In my body I felt no pain.

When straightening up, I saw the blue sea and sails.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Czeslaw Milosz (1911-2004) was born in Lithuania and lived for many years in Poland. He moved to the U.S. in 1960 and subsequently became and American citizen. From 1961-1998, he was a professor of Slavic Languages and Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1980, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Painting: “Cliffs and Sailboats at Pourville” by Claude Monet (1882)

by Philip Hart

The sun does not set,
Leaving the world in darkness – 
The world turns away.

PAINTING: “Sunset on the Seine in Winter” by Claude Monet (1880)

by Robert Louis Stevenson

I saw you toss the kites on high

And blow the birds about the sky;
And all around I heard you pass,

Like ladies’ skirts across the grass

Oh wind, a blowing all day long,

Oh wind, that sings so loud a song!
I saw the different things you did,

But always you yourself you hid.

I felt you push, I heard you call,

I could not see yourself at all

Oh wind, a blowing all day long!

Oh wind, that sings so loud a song!

O you that are so strong and cold,

O blower, are you young or old?

Are you a beast of field and tree,

Or just a stronger child than me?

O wind, a blowing all day long,

O wind, that sings so loud a song!
Painting by Claude Monet (1840-1926). Prints available at

by Alberto Rios

No word rhymes with silence, or tries to. 
No word wants to visit that furtive backyard garden. 

Silence is the word that will not be spoken–
After all, who can pronounce it? Once spoken,

We will not hear it. It is the story not told, 
The memory carefully unspoken in this house, 

Your house. Silence is the place underneath language 
An unto-itself, an army 

Stronger than words, more patient, 
Bigger than the dictionary. 

Its weapons are familiar, 
Painful, without antidote and giving of no respite. 

Quiet tells us it is coming, and so, too, 
Quiet is tolerated, left to be, undisturbed at its work, 

Silence’s grim reaper, allowed only to make deliveries,
To fill the bins, to cut the grass, eat if it needs to, 

Then expected to leave, quickly, cleanly, 
No trace afterward, no errant grass cuttings, 

No black from the bottom of its shoes on the floor. 
Good bye, we say, and in saying 

Mispronounce its name, but happy not to know,
Ready not to ask. Good-bye, we say, and mean it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alberto Rios‘s ten collections of poetry includeThe Smallest Muscle in the Human Body, a finalist for the National Book Award. His most recent book is The Dangerous Shirt, preceded by The Theater of Night, which received the 2007 PEN/Beyond Margins Award. Published in the New Yorker, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, and other journals, he has also written three short story collections and a memoir, Capirotada, about growing up on the Mexican border. Regents Professor and the Katharine C. Turner Chair in English, Rios has taught at Arizona State University for over 29 years.

PHOTO: Claude Monet‘s garden, Giverny, France.