Did he feel it too, this upwelling

Did he feel it too, this upwelling
of the heart that was in him?
And that there is nothing finally,
but simplicity? A single flower’s born,
blooms, wilts, and dies, that’s all;

so it seems to flowers. But the man
who painted flowers, what did he know
or see? What surface or what craft
could start or slow the upwelling
of the heart that was in him?

If art begins in loneliness, or lust,
its end is this upwelling of the heart
that will not stay or pass.
If I too feel it now, do I become
more like a man? Or, like that man

Whose body passed through his own world
like a flower? The slow, ceaseless
upwelling of my heart’s renewed in these;
my wife, my children, all the world
and all its flowers, all their works;

love, fear; time that nothing can arrest
except this act that had an end, or these
anonymous flowers that became artifice,
and he, whose heart may also have upwelled,
as it seemed to, within him, then.

.

.

Image: Jacob Vosmaer, “A Vase with Flowers” (ca. 1613); out of copyright for sheer agedness. In the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Here is a link to the image online.

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