I, Hokusai, Reply

by Philip Quinlan

Aged 89

I long for little, but I long for this:
the moving landscape that a journey is,
the going and becoming;

the placing of figures in a scene
to stand for only what their motions mean —
their making and their doing;

and an art not in the eye, but in the hand,
which only fingertips can understand;
mountains in clouds, dissolving;

not some insensate stasis.
No, that was never what I meant.

Forgive a mad old man, who loved to paint,
who isn’t seeking still,
but even yet has motion as his will:

to feel the great wave coming over him, and then
to have the fortune to begin again.


Visit Philip Quinlan’s website at: http://www.theverbfori.net/
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