Wednesday, 5 March 2014

On Rothko's power


In London spring is marked by the flowering of the cherry blossoms.
Soft pink against the bold advertising hoarding and the grey of the street.
The ragged appeal of their already wilting petals is muted.
Like scared refugees they drop where they fall
Scattered asylum seekers strewn across the pavement looking for a meal.
Growing up there the blooms were a brash blush soon sent to the gutter before the summer heat moved in.

In Canterbury the daffodils bring spring in their synchronised bursts
The anticipation as their shoots appear, laying a green and verdant siege
Before, as an army, the petals march out and surround the city walls.
As seasoned soldiers they can bear to bloom and dig in.
Natures incursion comes easier here where walls are for tourists and shortcuts round town.
We can watch the bold bright yellow hoard calmly wait out the season until the summer heat moves in.

Looking at the Rothko's in the Tate modern. 
Listening to the chatter that takes lightly the power
Of the bold dark shapes that loom. 
So many move past still unmoved
While I gasp at the brooding bold oblongs
Meditation won't come easier than supine before these monoliths.
Outside, a metropolis of monoliths litter the landscape
The travellers and the residents of this suavest of cities 
The revellers and refugees that call London home
Are naturally neutered before the enter here
Cherry blossom impressions washed away in the rain

I love these paintings in the Tate modern.
Where two blocks of colour might be clouds meeting or parting 
Unchanging, unrepresentative, emotive, alive.
Let them come and invade mellow Canterbury
With Purple, black, brown and maroon banners
Where the travellers and residents of this cathedral city
Can be restored in upright convocation.
Bring the Rothko's to the Beaney
Where, outside history litters the landscape,
Meditation will come easy before these monoliths of art
As delightful as the daffodils that can move the heart. 

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