Monet’s Lilies by Monica Suswin


If I was not fascinated with this flow
of human-kind shuffling their startling
display of foot-wear which keep the plump,
the spindly, the squat and rakish tall on the move.
All these bodies with an astounding array of head-size

makes me wonder how neural pathways
branch out and filter all this information
inside each individual skull safe-guarding
a mass of soft tissue as eyes fix more often
to a bright screen than a painting

glowing. If I could gaze at these lilies
for sixty seconds without this juggernaut
of a side-show or better still if I was in Giverny
in summer looking over to that Japanese foot-bridge

or perhaps if I was there in 1916 en plein air
watching the portly white-suited artist daubing,
daubing his brush, his palette of colour,
daubing light onto canvas. If I could look

and lose myself in shades of green, strokes of pink,
white, yellow and never glance at the gold-edged frame.
If I could shut my mind to soldiers dying in trenches,
migrants drowning in oceans and people
blasted to bits in public places

but not now not in this museum in this city
Yes, then these lilies would divert me to an inner space.



Monica is a writer with a focus on creative therapeutic writing. She has been published in half-a-dozen anthologies in the series Writing for Therapy and Personal Development (Jessica Kingsley Publishers).

Monica runs Cabin on the Hill – a retreat for women writers in Sussex and offers workshops and sessions on the healing power of writing.




2 thoughts on “Monet’s Lilies by Monica Suswin”

  1. This is a really strong, powerful poem with so much inside it – deserving of many readings. I love the way the poet leads us away from “this juggernaut of a sideshow’ (what a telling phrase) and reminds us of where we really are. It makes me realise how we shuffle through life not really looking, focussing on the wrong things. That’s the way I read it – very thought provoking.

  2. Its a poem that speaks strongly for me in this age of information overload and overwhelming speed of change and heartbreaking inhumanity…when we still hunger for that precise stillness, the contemplation and creation of flowers in light. Thank you, Monica.

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