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Sunday 8 November 2009

Thinking About George


for George Schneeman 1934-2009

Thinking about George in
January in California
The sinking sun lights a few late
Streamers of cloud with faint blooms
Like the distant inklings of
All one remembers

Under the bare plum tree
A white cat sleeps on a chair
And squirrels chitter in the ivy
Audible for once in the vacuum
Created by traffic's absence
All one remembers

Returns in a moment and
George is present in the mind
And we are alive in the light moving
Into the darkness of all that is lost
To fill the emptiness of the day with
All one remembers

Dal Moro: George Schneeman, 2003 (Cue Foundation)
Wheat Field: George Schneeman, 2003 (Cue Foundation)


Anonymous said...

I know, I know, I know you should not have favourite babies. But out of yours I have read this evening, this is that. I am liking muchly, you.
'Thinking about George in
January in California' Those first two lines set the whole feeling up for me, within me; straight away and I know I will carry them with me for the rest of the night.

TC said...

Thank you SarahA. I know I should not but I have some favourite babies of yours as well so I don't mind at all your saying this.

Yes, those first two lines are the poem. George was an old friend who died last January. He was a painter. Those images on the post are small, really technically miniature (c. 9" x 12") plein air gouaches on boards, which he did on outings from his second home in the hills of Siena. The golden colours of those hills did and do remind me very much of the colours of the hills and valleys of the northern California interior country.

I put up this post to commemorate a tribute to George being put on by his many poet friends tonight at the Poetry Project in New York.

(George once -- well, 1967 it was -- painted my portrait in a potato-dyed crazy-paisley linen jacket I had brought back across the sea with me from some amazing paleontological carnaby street incarnation... the memory of sitting for that portrait -- well, I should say standing for it -- in his little New York apartment... well, that memory was suddenly in my mind with great vividness, and sadness, on the day I learned, from afar, that he had passed away.)