Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Rapture of Matisse's Scissors

84 year old hands
guide scissors,
carving light,
pure chroma;
visions: Japanese Green,
Persian Violet, Aquamarine.

Matisse’s scissors move forward,
always forward – confidently
cutting the contours,
cutting away all that is not
leaf and vine; woman and flower;
determining what is not,
and what is.

Perseverance furthers.
Determination defines.

This: I will keep.
This: I will not, and
around my feet -
worry; fear;
pain; despair.
I cut them away.

Remaining: the fruits, the flowers, the sea, the vine.

Buddha’s blade cuts; a scythe
through dark illusion.
Sword of discernment
slices the air
the fabric, the veil
of the known Universe,
torn -
never to be the same!

Once witnessed,
you cannot turn back.

Once the veil has been sheared
in two,
you are the invited guest
into an

Buddha with shears -
more than
invited guest.
From his wheelchair,
from his bed,
dancing, birthing
hand-carved illumined
dipping hands into
raw earth,
color, form…
stirring Life and Joy,
flora and fauna,
springing forth
from his hands
as if


Genesis: Let there be Light!

Magic leaping,
climbing the walls,
ascending upward,
around the corner, down the hall,
spilling… pouring …
into the rooms, out the doors,
through the windows,
into the streets,
ecstatic splendor
throughout the countryside;
the magic of:
a child at play;
Buddha with his Blade
of Discernment;
a madman departing in
magic of Light and Beauty
rising from his aged hands…
Hands that
loved, touched,
wiped tears, comforted;
tended wounds, gardens,
children and paints.
Now, magic scissors
and pure heart,
cut a swath
through darkened
fear and illusion…
and passive voices
of lost hope.

He is more alive than most!
More free than many.

He is the Pied Piper
on the “Adventure of a Lifetime”
through the veil,
up the hill…
a chapel of light, a beacon
on the mountaintop,
calling All
to the Tree of Life,
to sit in its shade,
to taste its fruit…

Behold: the Gateway,
spun from color, breath,
determination and spark;
from the
Rapture of
Matisse’s scissors.


Shark said...

A really wonderful piece. I wish Matisse could read it; I think he would love it -- as the perfect expression of what he was doing with his art. His art was always about Joy and Nature and The Positive -- and this is an appropriate homage to the master.

"Cutting into color reminds me of the sculptor's direct carving." -- H. Matisse


el poquito said...

thanks sensei. it's from the soul. thanks for glimpsing mine and seeing.

tarzan said...

I've read this piece three times now, and I keep coming back to read it again......I can't seem to get enough of it. Matisse could not stop, could he..... thank God, he could not, and did not stop. His talent in sharing joy and beauty, fills my need to drink it all in.

Thank you for handing us the glass.

Sandi said...

This piece is special. Thank you so much for sharing it.

el poquito said...

nope, he never did stop. in fact his expression just got better and stronger culminating in what he felt was his best work.

i don't know if it's possible to look at his art post-cancer, created from his bed and wheelchair - what most would consider limitation to the max, and not feel happier. amazing gifts this santo had still reveal today.

Here's a lovely link (thanks shark)

Anonymous said...

That was amazing dad. This piece is a beautiful piece of work. You need to write a book or a collection of poems. I really enjoyed this one. You might be losing it in some ways, but damn you can write.

Love Popeye

el poquito said...

re: "You might be losing it in some ways, but damn you can write." - Popeye

heh. thanks son. i think????
"losing it in some ways, eh?"

You gave me a good laugh! i needed that!

much love, abrazo grande,

lakshmi said...


I found you here! I've been watching your Matisse. You were my introduction to his amazing art. Thank you for introducing it to me in a way I think is wonderful!


el poquito said...

hi lakshmi,
welcome on over to my table where el poquito plays. so nice to have you visit.

pleased i could introduce you to Matisse. what a magnificent role model for aging he is to me... and a lot more. Always revamping, innovating, creating; definitely what it's about as i get older... and never losing the rapture...