Here is a poem I wrote about the creative process.
On looking for “Les Très Riches Heures
du Duc de Berry”
At Cluny, though she searched for a great copy,
the Hours were dull as if the blood
used to paint them (the way barns were painted
with milk and blood of cows) had dried
burgundy burnt down, greens mulched.
There were no Hours
beneath the Hours
trees but not shadows
water but no cities beneath
no long brushes of deep violet
women were never trees
the owl, no owl.
She’d rather live with memory
ruddy as the real, the rose
that died blooming inside her.
She touches the lake, fingers licking
its black pelt, sees dried berries,
ragged asters those velvet ribbons,
knows the signs of coming cold, imagines
men bending over the vines, women
putting wine on the table, remembers
till her thoughts grow spare, a man and a woman
standing naked in a room filled by light so pure
it thins the shadows on their bodies.
© Mary Kay Rummel