Treasure Island

Laurence Overmire

Ahead Of His Time

The artist born ahead of his time
Will see no reward, no glory, no fame
Alone with his demons
He wrestles to the death.

Van Gogh was
They said a madman a lunatic no doubt
Only brother Theo could glimpse
Who he was
And brother love pulled
Spirit through fire
With paint, brushes a kind word and a coin or two
Young Vincent held on
To see the dying of the world
Sweating in the fields hot burning sun hour upon hour
Sunflowers explode
Life’s mad beauty
The trees are alive and stars shake the heavens
Sleeping fools
Put out your eyes and see!
Cut off your ears and hear!

In a tiny room
Poor, dirty wretch
Light slips through the door
All that love
All that blood poured out
On canvas.

The artist born ahead of his time
Must die ahead of his time too.

Starry, starry wonderful night
Life and death are the stuff of dreams
It is painted ‘cross the sky
Light years ago
A star burned out
Far, far away
And only now
After millions of years
And millions of miles
That dying light

Reaches our eyes.

(Previously published in ArtsFusion, Dec 99 - Jan 00, Issue 17)

Submitted: Sunday, February 19, 2006
Edited: Friday, April 04, 2008

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Comments about this poem (Ahead Of His Time by Laurence Overmire )

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  • Mehreen Tahir (5/15/2008 10:57:00 AM)

    ' Put out your eyes and see!
    Cut off your ears and hear! '

    simply brilliant poem...loved it! (Report) Reply

  • Michael Troy Buffo (3/22/2006 2:02:00 AM)

    YES! And when the time that was ahead of him becomes the time that is behind him, all he leaves us is what he brought with him in the first place! That which is the product of what he saw through his own eyes - the eyes he wanted us all to see through. So much more honorable than the eyes-shut stultification of the majority who walk lock-step and single file through time, never looking up or beyond forward. Vincent was the epitome of the honorable artist's path, a pin-point of passion which even absynth couldnn't squelch or console.
    (Second time through this one. Just had to put in my two cents worth.) (Report) Reply

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