Lay for the Day 19th
1839, the birth of Paul Cézanne, painter. The Tate Gallery holds
an exquisite watercolour painted in 1906, the last year of his life, of
his gardener, Monsieur Vallier.
The apples bruise themselves
blue, from the inside out.
Theyre bronze, going
oxide green, granite, brass,
pushing each other aside.
We feel them push the iron
in our blood sideways.
Theyre beside themselves
in a calm beyond terror and loss,
the fruit of knowledge.
The light goes over, behind
the double-edged sword.
The gardener becomes his garden,
this earthen face no longer seen
beneath the flowers the glancing
watercolour that invites the pollinating eye.
His glance is downward, to
The sepals of his eye leave undisclosed
what fruit it holds.
The painters eye, for its part, wont intrude.
Persistently set to this fruitless
his long frame shaped by unregarded work
in the motley shade settling on a chair,
geranium red, forget-me-not blue
the master applies himself
to the servant.
Lay Reader: an archive of the poetic calendar