Potatoes, cherry trees and wheat begin in darkness,
as sunflowers do,
rooted in dank clay, eating ochre,
With brush for bow and canvases for instruments,
in colours only he had vision clean enough to see,
he played sonatas filled with blossoms
as lovely and as fragile as his mind
and swirling symphonies of stars.
His legacy to us is what he saw.
Did he paint God? He did believe in God at times.
He painted, always, what he saw.
But crows, black as despair,
a darkness living as the light,
swooped though his wind-tossed corn
to dim his blazing skies.
The paint he ate, the poison that he drank,
sharpened the fear and loneliness
that gnawed his sanity,
drained sunlight from his eyes
and turned his earthly paradise to hell.
The sunflower leaves a legacy of seeds
for crows to peck.