White Rose in a Tumbler by Piet Mondrian

Mondrian trancends caprice
2001 by PJ Nights

In Paris, an apartment drained of color
allows a solitary tulip, its leaves
white-washed to still the tragic.

On canvas, a thick mustard space
traps the energy of one white rose.
Blossom frozen, centripetal concentration
suspends nature's inevitable black magic.

The landscape painter shaves his beard,
slicks back hair with brilliantine,
barricades himself in a tower
of monolithic perfection

away from the horrors of growth in green
away from trees in twisted torment.

Brush-strokes of branches stretch
into lines of vertical vitality
and horizontal calm
that he might find equilibrium
in electric urban timbres,
in traffic snaking city blocks,
in the refusal of jazz to become form.

Such telescoping distance
(red tree to gray to abstracting grids)
to find repose within all things

Oh, give me back capricious greens.


Penumbra 2002