Poetry and personal blog – Spilling my guts to strangers

On Mondrian

Piet Mondrian - Composition with Red, Yellow, Blue and Black; 1921 (www.abcgallery.com)

This all means something.

There’s a big red box–
Big, red,
And red stands for life, for blood …
No, madness. No,
Red is angry.
But the yellow rectangles
Are happy and excited
To be here,
So are gray and white,
And those last two hug the red
Because they like the way it smells.
The blue wishes it were red.

The black box,
Well, it’s hard to see
But there are people in there
Walking around–
Souls trapped in midnight.
Their hands reach out
But never find the orienting wall.
Every space is bigger in the dark;
The air, closer; and every sound
A stiff breeze drying out
Wide open, useless eyes.
The people push each other down
When they touch.

No fear is greater than that found
In the absence of light
And it’s not the box that’s dark,
It’s their hearts and that’s what
This all means.


NaPoWriMo Day 24. The NaPoWriMo prompt was to write a poem that responds to a work of art.

Please visit this list of my poet friends who are also doing the poem-a-day challenge. They are worth the look. I’m inspired by them daily. Contact me if you want to be added to the list.

© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2012


Comments on: "On Mondrian" (17)

  1. I laughed! Because of making up stories, myths when I was little. But the black box sobered me as fast as a nightmare. Dark Hearts. My heart froze for a microsecond. Hope it’s not Pandora’s Box.
    Your poems always open the world.

  2. What a poem and your imagination! I have no words to say.

  3. Janaki Nagaraj said:

    The opening is light but the last stanza is profound. nice.

  4. Epic work and sneakily existential ….a sure poem

  5. Adriene, that was great. I look at a lot of modern art, and it stymies me. Flat pieces of work (to my eyes) that all you need sometimes is a straight edge, canvas, and paint to make. THIS poem made the painting actually mean something to me. Thanks.

  6. I wasn’t sure where you wre going at first but the deeper you pulled in with the winding way the words wrapped from line to line I quickly realzied this words were the the image (to me) eye catching on the outside but not peaceful, leaving me not quite disturbed but unselttled. The ending got me.. black hearted people.

  7. I loved how you compared the colors to one another in this. Really Cool!

  8. [I am a black S on a yellow rectangle and I am excited to be here.]

    Your closing lines reminded me of a song by Neverending White Lights, which goes “the world is dark, but the heart is darker” at some point.

    That said, I like your poem a hell of a lot more than the words to that song.

  9. Another gem Sweepy. Art can take us in so may directions. It’s always exciting to hear how others interpret art and I loved your view and take on this classic piece.

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