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Transit Zone by Martin Burke     < back : index : next >   

M e a n w h i l e    C h a g a l l

The truly marvellous-the paintings of Chagall
where the magical is central, not incidental to the whole.
Stand before them, enter into the picture and contemplate
the frame you complete. What will you then ascent to
but what he proposes and gives form to-
so much so that when you step back into the day
the air has changed and a violin is playing a lilting tune
your pace falls in step with. Give credit where credit is due –
see the day exactly as he has painted it in vivid blue.

No wonder we stare and try to take our cue from it.
You walk by water and low stone walls and in the water see
the perfect reflection of yourself up side down where the sky
is the depth of all vision. A bird swifts by. He also is reflected
in the image of himself –and this is truly beautiful.
Everything reflected to such a degree as causes you ask
which is the more accurate presentation -water or air?
Which world mirrors the other? And which world is that?
No wonder the people stare to decide which one to live by-
as I also stare, aware that for this I need fire in the eye
for whatever I choose will also have its mirrored self
which I’ll have to take into account and acknowledge its reality.
Then Flanders a chimera of being? And is all here a seemingness,
a gauze, a mask perhaps? and ‘there’ the true perspective glimpsed
through this imperfection yet loved for the real that it is?

Ah yes, the marvellous -the true poetry:
glimmer of wing on the water’s sheen,
the collaboration you initiate merely by looking,
and everywhere the joy of worlds you are now privy to.
What can equal or cancel this?
Who can insist the deception of one as opposed to the other?
Even the breeze is a tangible proof as it ruffles the water
you stare at and see the circles moving outwards
recalling how this has happened before and will happen again
and how it will be identical and different each time.
This is the moment you ease into and rest in before moving on.
These are the moments you live by.
Everything a fore-runner of the core it carries and will unloose
to your startled eyes as if to say:
you have seen this before, you will see this again;
see this as it is not as this seems to be; see its multiplicity.

Meanwhile Chagall awaits your return
from the day he has depicted and given form to,
in which you are the same only more so.
Will you credit anything less?
Will you dispute the magic the lovers unleash
or will you acknowledge his rightness and true depiction?
Obviously you will. You have almost no choice
but to see the world exactly as he shows it.
Walk from one picture to another, find yourself there,
see the startling colours and what they annunciate.
No wonder we stare and take our cue from it
when the day outside and the day inside has been a revelation.


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