“He says no with his head
but he says yes with his heart
he says yes to what he loves
he says no to the teacher …” 

(Jacques Prévert, The Dunce)

~

one times ten is
five fields of flowers

two times nine is
seven blue skies

three times eight is
one thousand and one Nights

four times seven is
forty rainbows

five times six is
one ocean more

six times five is
two trees under the full Moon

seven times four is
thousands of honeybees

eight times three is
sixty rhymes with glee

and nine times two is
one hundred ways to stay

a child bad at maths
but good at poetry

© Frédéric Georges Martin

~

illustration: The Dunce
(Harold Copping, 1886)

Believe my words.
Love is Memory in its purest form.

I
I loved a galley slave madly
and remained faithful.

II
I prostituted myself in Babylon
but never lost my virginity.

III
I denied my homeland
and found my island.

IV
A king abused me.
I found refuge in a silent garden.

V
I took my own life.
I descended into Hell.

VI
I saved many lives,
many more than I lived.

VII
I fell on the fields of honor.
I still feel the flame.

VIII
I sang dark songs
in theaters bathed in light.

IX
And I write poems to remember
everything about my

ninth life.

© Frédéric Georges Martin

~

illustration: The Girls of Avignon
(Picasso, 1907)

It’s not only children of Autumn
who can make a bouquet of Memories
and write a November poem.

When the wind calmed down
I went to the garden.
I started by collecting
burnt orange and red leaves.
I pressed them between
the yellowed pages of an old dictionary.
I watched the trees,
I gazed at the Moon
and I thought of you.
I did not wait very long.
Then I put my ear
to the book.

BEAUTY
was the first word
that came to me.

© Frédéric Georges Martin

~

illustration: Autumn Leaves
(Georgia O’Keeffe, 1924)

How nice to stand
in the morning light
as the oak leaves turn gold
and life comes to an end.

How nice to be
followed by a bird
when silence meets
Silence.

How nice to see
through the Veil space and time
surprisingly intertwined
with one another.

The Eye and the World.
The Beauty of Autumn.
Consciousness. Endlessness.
Emptiness.

© Frédéric Georges Martin

~

illustration: the Messenger of Autumn
(Paul Klee, 1922)

I did not notice
when swifts left.
Did they fly west?
Did they fly south?

They were master acrobats
rising, falling, racing,
fearlessly grazing
the edge of Eternity.

The blue fields of freedom
now look empty:
Grace will remain
an unfathomable mystery.

© Frédéric Georges Martin

~

illustration: Common Swifts
(Bruno Liljefors, 1886)