Learning to Paint Clouds

by Philip Quinlan

Consequently, when I am 80, I shall
have got to the bottom of things.
—Hokusai

Now you are done with seeing things, begin
by setting down your name,
forgetting everything you ever knew:

those tints and tinctures that were never you,
the way by which you came,
perfecting feather, flower, leaf, and fin.

Erase the lines, but leave the shadows in,
with all that they contain;
such lack of artifice was always true.

Only the necessary things remain:
plain parchment, candle flame,
a quill of water from a grail of rain;

all else is still within,
and, consequently, finally,
your seeing is a seeing through.

Now you are done with seeing things.
Begin.

 

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