Between The Moon and Sixpence: A Poem

March 2, 2019 at 10:29 pm (Art, Arts, Culture, Film, Life, love, Movie Reviews, Movies, Poetry, Romance, Theology) (, )

What lies between the moon and sixpence?
A pair of broken hearts?
A man who no longer loves his job selling in the City
A man who sacrifices all for art
His wife, children and comfortable home
Leaves London for the Bohemian haunts of Paris

But the biggest thing he left behind is his soul and his humanity
He is not kind, he is not cruel
He is indifferent
Which is the cruelest cruelty of all

But he is called a genius by a fellow artist
The same man whose wife he steals
And then abandons like yesterday’s canvas
Leaving behind a broken heart that takes its own life
How can he who paints such beauty be capable of such cruelty?

That is the eternal question
A man once thought that a watch left on the beach must have a creator
The same man applied it to the cosmos
This cosmos must have a creator
But for that watch on the beach
what was its maker like?
Was he cruel?
Was he kind?
We know not.
The same applies for the cosmos.
If a maker the cosmos has
Is he cruel? Is he kind?
Iago in Verdi’s Otello says he serves a cruel god
The explanation (that Shakespeare never offered)
As to why Iago told such lies about Desdemona to his friend Othello

That is the ultimate horror
If the cosmos a creator has
is ultimately a cruel being
Rather than face that horror
that’s why many atheism and agnosticism embrace
Though ironically in Transhumanism modern
The theory is posed,
We all live in a computer generated matrix
But then who created that matrix?

To substitute God for ultimate Virtual Reality designer
The question of kindness and cruelty remains unanswered

Lucifer was an artist
That ultimate rebel
For only an artist can seduce
The Satan of the Book of Job was the fallen Archangel Samael
An angelic lawyer who fell
like lawyers are prone to do
He takes away and scatters
But he cannot seduce
like Lucifer the Devil did to Eve
He promises beauty and godhood
But cannot deliver
for he is ultimately not the source of both

Between the moon and sixpence
our artist anti-hero decides Paris is not
and goes to Tahiti
that South Pacific paradise
And will he finally find Paradise there?

There he finds Ata a South Seas woman
and there he says words he’d never thought he’d speak, “Love”
And there the man paints Eden
on the walls of his hut
Towards the end of his life he becomes kind
Not cruel
Not indifferent
For genius on its own can never find Paradise
It needs to hold the hand of Love

Angst ridden artists, poets and musicians history has seen many
Some have seduced and left broken hearts by the thousands
Others were kind and compassionate
The ability to create is a form of beauty
It is alluring
And with its allure
comes the ability to seduce

Creating beauty is only true when mixed with love and kindness
And leaves the perturbing question
Was the Creator of the Cosmos one with love?

To create a cosmos so vast and all encompassing
We mortal beings cannot comprehend such a Creator
Surely a giant?
Or maybe a phony hiding behind a curtain like that wizard of Oz?

The instances of love we can comprehend
Such as a child in its mother’s arms
The smile of the child towards mother
And the smile of the mother towards child

And that is why Oscar Wilde
whose Dorian Gray showed so shockingly how art and beauty could be used for evil
embraced as Creator the Babe who was born in Bethlehem
In whose humanity and divinity, Love and Intellect are one.

-A poem written by Christopher
Saturday March 2nd
2019
inspired by watching
the 1942 movie
The Moon and Sixpence

39 Comments

  1. David Redpath said,

    Beautifully written, Chris.
    I was reminded of the artist, Paul Gauguin,
    who after slicing off the ear of his good
    friend, Vincent Van Gogh, in a drunken
    altercation, sailed away to French Polynesia.
    Vincent covered up for Gauguin, a renowned
    swordsman, by telling the authorities that
    it was a self inflicted injury … to save his
    friend from a certain jail sentence. There
    is speculation the fight was actually about
    Gauguin’s plan to sail off to a tropical
    paradise. There to slowly die from a dose
    of pox courtesy of a Parisienne prostitute
    ( . . . reportedly).

    • Dracul Van Helsing said,

      Thanks, David.

      The movie was based on a W. Somerset Maugham novel and Maugham had in fact modeled his central character of Charles Strickland on Paul Gauguin.

  2. David Redpath said,

    I’ll have to check it out. l’m pretty sure I saw
    it once in a previous life.

    • Dracul Van Helsing said,

      I first watched it many years ago.

      And came across it again on YouTube yesterday.

      • David Redpath said,

        Looking forward to viewing.
        George Sanders, such a great actor.
        ‘Patton’ … One of his best movies.

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        I don’t remember George Sanders in Patton.

      • David Redpath said,

        By Scott! I got my Georges mixed up😎
        (George C. Scott … of course! I don’t think
        he would’ve played the role of a randy artist
        as well as George Sanders? Perhaps, when
        it comes to playing the role of a kick arse wartime General, then George C. Scott is
        your man.)

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        By Scott I think he is!

        And wouldn’t Patton have looked quite smashing in a Scottish kilt.

        The Germans would have never been able to eat sausage with their haggis again.

      • David Redpath said,

        As my Scottish ancestor, Bruce de Redpath,
        would say … “Nothing worn under ma kilt!
        It’s all in perfect working order.” 😎

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        That’s what my Scottish Highlander ancestors said as well. 😎

      • David Redpath said,

        Great Caledonian minds rarely differ 🏴󠁧󠁒󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
        Unless it’s the Campbell & Mc Donald clans
        who just loved to bicker … and slaughter.

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        Which is why the Valley of Glencoe is considered the ultimate in inhospitality.

        No wonder a hotel has never been built there

        Just a crofter’s hut that Robert Donat can stumble across in the 1935 Alfred Hitchcock film The 39 Steps.

      • David Redpath said,

        You could say that Ronald,
        and all them Mc Donalds
        got a Jacobite on the arse 😎

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        The Campbells have a lake rather than a loch named after them as punishment.

      • David Redpath said,

        And a tin of soup, since, as a clan,
        they always seemed to end up in it
        . . . the soup.

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        Since they slew their enemies in their sleep, that’s why Campbell’s Chicken Noodle soup is the most preeminent brand.

      • David Redpath said,

        And to make Highland Cock a Leekie
        . . . you need to be real sneaky.

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        A quick flash of sword up a kilt
        That has to it a certain tilt.

      • David Redpath said,

        β€œThat’s why the sporran is worn at the front.
        Unless ye be travelling south of Hadrians Wall,
        down through the land of the Sassenachs.
        Then best used to cover yer poor wee behind!”
        ~ Robert the Bruised

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        The sporran is also best worn at the back during a visit to the Vatican as well.

      • David Redpath said,

        I believe Johnnie Knox, the shock jock of
        the Reformation, was of that opinion . . .
        “And if caught without a sporran when
        visiting the Vatican, then in glorious
        Highland tradition, it’s backs against
        the wall!”
        ~ Johnnie Knox

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        Sound advice from Johnnie Knox. πŸ‘

      • David Redpath said,

        Yes, not only a Reformation hellraiser,
        Johnnie Knox was a founding member of
        the Alternative Dance- Punk Rock band,
        ‘Liturgy’ … in direct opposition to the old
        Latin Beat music scene. He will be sadly
        missed at future Protestant Raves πŸ˜ͺ

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        Indeed he will.

        I was always fond of Archbishop Cranmer’s plainsong style myself.

      • David Redpath said,

        I know Cranmer had one red hot hit
        with ‘The Recant Chant’.
        You could say that he had a lot at stake,
        that he would give his right hand for βœ‹

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        Yes he did.

        And Oliver Cromwell’s Puritan rap had Archbishop William Laud’s head rolling in the aisles.

      • David Redpath said,

        They knew how to strike a chord back then.
        A spinal cord, that is 😎

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        Yep.

        It was a real spinal tap and not of the Rob Reiner variety either.

        David, remember that conversation we had about your covert mission ‘West of Tajikistan’ (which was actually east of Tajikistan), it served as inspiration for a great deal of the vampire novel chapter I just posted an hour and a half ago. πŸ˜‚

      • David Redpath said,

        I’m deeply touched, Chris.
        (And in deep shit with ASIO, no doubt
        as It was a top secret mission 🀐).
        I’ll check it out pronto.

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        πŸ‘

  3. velvetscreams said,

    Lovely writeup and very interesting πŸ’“

  4. Henry Lewis said,

    An especially poignant post Christopher!

  5. annieasksyou said,

    Christopher,

    This is remarkable, and your own kindness and humanity shine through. I expect to reread it several more times.

    FYI: my most recent post, published this evening, was inspired by a comment you made in evaluating Trudeau. So thank you for that.

    Annie

  6. MOMENTS said,

    Beautifully written and deep in meaning. Philosophical-existentialist, spiritual and very Christian. I like the references to Shakespeare’s Othello and to Wilde’s Dorian Gray.

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