Portfolio > Verse to Vision: Recent Oils/Poems

girl walking plank, autumn landscape with brambles castle
Wishfull Vow
oil on linen
18 x 46
2014

Janet Lewis' poem Winter Garden inspired this fantastic landscape and a child's perilous walk along an unsecured plank. Lewis recalls a child in a beautiful garden with calendulas, pomegranate tree and twisted vines. Then, like so many fairy princesses, she pricks her finger, but is not cursed. Instead Lewis makes a vow, "Now that you sleep your joy to replenish, Each branch, each varied lifting bough, That not a leaf in your garden perish." It IS a Wishful Vow.

Winter Garden
Child, dream of a pomegranate tree Weighted with ruby, showered with gold, Dream of a fig tree under the cold
And cloudy sky
Lifting its curved and silver boughs
Like a roofless house
For birds that be
Tardily in November here;
Dream of a spare
And twisted vine-
The grape-and ivy for the hair,
And honeysuckle, stubborn twine;
And of the firm and hidden shape
Of the green orange deep in the tree;
And dreaming, in my garden be.
I have bestowed calendulas
That brighten beside reddening haws, And rooted out the hoarhound grey,
And pulled the nettle from our way,
And torn my hand on bramble berry. Then, if a drop, red as a cherry-
Bright blood-upon my finger show,
It is a seal set to a vow
To ward and to cherish even as now, Now that you sleep your joy to replenish, Each branch, each varied lifting bough, That not a leaf in your garden perish.1
Janet Lewis

1 Janet Lewis. Poems Old and New 1918-1978. Swallow Press, Ohio University Press, Chicago, IL p 72