Bland On Bland – The BookThe theme for this week’s JVG Radio Method poem is “Pictures“.

This was a lot of fun to write. I enjoyed the conversations about art I had with JVG in the studio

Ed Bates provided the guitar backing, have a listen to how it went below…

To play this poem directly in your browser – just click the “play” button below:


Hiking through the mountains, growing weary of my load
I chanced upon an artist, almost one hour from the road

At a guess, in his seventies; easel planted on the bluff
I wondered how he’d made the climb; my pack was difficult enough

I approached, barely noticed; I called his painting ‘nice’
Words both vacuous and hollow, designed to break the ice

He appeared not to hear; or if so, gave little sign
Put down his brush and pallet and offered me a wine

Gazed out upon the ranges; turned and asked me whether
The river splits the mountains, or perhaps draws them together?

I struggled for an answer, though determined I should try
I need not have bothered, given no chance to reply

“What you see” he asserted “is your interpretation
Everything exists in a state of transformation

Some see only beauty; some feel its violent birth
The enormity, disquiet; the transience of the earth”

He offered me another wine; a second, then a third
We polished off two bottles and I’d yet to say a word

“Art” he continued “is not about the paint
As the soul grows ever clearer, mere appearance, ever faint

To ‘see’ takes more than eyes to penetrate the veil
As a sailor ‘sees’ the wind through the tension of the sail

As a lover hears affection, sometimes less in words than touch
For words can promise everything, and yet not amount to much

Yes, we all see the mountain; its hues and magnitude
Though can we see its nature? Can we read its mood?”

Bottle number three and my head began to spin
How did he carry so much stuff? Must have parachuted in

While I confess I couldn’t comprehend everything he said
I enjoyed our one way conversation and particularly the red

He offered me his painting, which I respectfully declined
The two hour trek ahead of me foremost in my mind

What I know of art, would not justify a frame
His painting, if I’m honest, I would have to say the same

All I know for certain is I know nothing at all
When coaxed, at times, by cheap red, his words, I still recall

“When you think you know the world, you’ve only just begun
Something fragile as a cloud can steal the shadows from the sun”

Should you chance an artist in the bush, here is my advice
By all means share their wine but never call their painting ‘nice’

© Copyright 2019 Ian Bland

Also have a listen to “Everything or Nothing

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