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Published:July 31st, 2010 15:40 EST
Artist to Artist - Roberts to van Gogh

Artist to Artist - Roberts to van Gogh

By Ed Roberts

Words to van Gogh


He saw a world

Full of colors



Hidden from others

Surrounded him

Filled each and every moment

Of his consciousness


Paint me

They screamed

In a voice

Only he could hear


Stroke by stroke

He fought

To silence the deluge

Capture a beast

That tormented his soul

In ways no one seemed to understand


Nine hundred paintings

Eleven hundred sketches and drawings

Most of which were created

In a mere two years

The final two years

Of his tortured

And tormented life


A life that ended

At the age of a mere thirty seven


A madman

They called him


Death by his own hand

To them

Somehow seemed fitting


Only later

Did they begin to realize

The extent of their own loss


Tonight I sit here

My dearest Vincent

Each and every tear I shed

Bears your name

For across the many miles

And years that separate our two souls

I understand

What they can not begin to comprehend


For through the darkness

In my dreams

And in my waking moments

I hear the words

Words pleading to be written

And I pray for the strength

Or for silence

Because I know the true cost of each

A price 

That you willingly paid

Even though you knew

It would only glisten

Long after you yourself

Were gone



My dearest Vincent

I can see your world

Filled with so many colors

And I fight with pen and paper

But also cling to those dearest to my heart

For I hope not

In the end

To share your fate


Ed Roberts 07/01/10


Words to Vincent van Gogh

Proof that sometimes a monstrous talent can be contained

If but for a short while

In the most fragile of packages



 The conversation lingers ---




He painted the picture

Of a man

Shadows traced each line

Of his weathered face

Behind each

The hint of a story

Each a badge of honor

The eyes on the canvass stared

Like they themselves were burned

Not brushed

They held hidden secrets

That they kept


Just out of focus

Still, they spoke volumes

Of a life that demanded to be captured

Saved but even for a moment

Left here on parchment

For others to behold


The color of his hair was fire

A hint of brown

Or red glistened in an unseen light

The shirt he wore was faded

The survivor of a thousand washings


This was not a wearer of suit or tie

The artist demanded the viewer to look deeper

He presented for their pleasure

A portrait of a common man

One who dared to look beyond the mirror

And leave a part of his soul behind


Some would say

This was the image of a madman


The greatest artist to have ever lived


As for me

I see the man

Beyond the stories

Beyond the fables or the legends

A fragile genius

Who silently screamed to the world

Through color

Who caressed nature in every stroke

And who left agony diluted by his own teardrops

Upon so many pieces he could never put together

Nor could we

Until long after he was gone


A self-portrait

That haunts my memories

Of one I simply call Vincent

Let others debate the van Gogh

And I wonder tonight

That if in these words that I have left you

A small part of my own portrait

I have placed upon these pages

As well


Ed Roberts 7/28/10