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Blaine Greenwood

Blaine Greenwood, born in Viking Alberta 1951, is an educator by profession – with a career spanning from classroom teacher to museum educator and event planner. It is from this foundation that Blaine’s poetry has come to reflect his interest in psychology, history and spirituality. His verse has been described as “dark, homespun, sensual, rich with images.” The title of Blaine’s first chapbook Walking Naked Down the Street describes the experience of a writer baring his soul to the public. A selection of his poems have been published in the Interpscan Journal (Canada), in Our Journey (Oregon, USA), and in Mudlark Press’ Rags: Journal of Creative Writing. His first book Black Cat in the Shadows was published by Ekstasis in 2015. Blaine was one of the Coordinators of MOST VOCAL Poets Society. He is currently one of the artistic directors of Lotos Land spoken word / poetry venue at Fort Macleod Alberta’s South Country Fair and DJ for CKXU’s Not Your Mother’s Poetry.

Prisoner of St. Quentin

“An artist must never be a prisoner. Prisoner? An artist should never be a prisoner of himself, prisoner of style, prisoner of reputation, prisoner of success.”
~ Henri Matisse

Country boy from Bohain in Picardy,
you are now the law clerk of St. Quentin.
Quite the gentlemanly intellectual,
your papa would be proud of you
and yet, you callow youth,
you abandon all of this to play in paint.

You sketch open door of office, cross the threshold,
irises growing on the edges of those legal appeals,
“copied in triplicate”.
Even here the beast, the fauve within,
Is already roaming the dark woods, looking for a way out.

And on the field of Mars
your parents come to know you –
The man who paints in underpants,
painted yet another open door
in Brittany, that door of cobalt blue,
thus letting light in.

You see color flicker, flame across the Breton mill,
olive trees catch fire in your color’s blaze,
branches and leaves incandescent in intensity.

Lying awake you listen –
scratches at the door –
rustles, flaps, drags, departs,
at dawn you discover your midnight monster –
Heavy oiled butcher paper
stuck and slapping at the door.

While within you, another monster stirs,
a raging storm about to break –
You become the passionate beast,
mad and epileptic in your moves,
pin brilliant butterflies to canvas
by intuition and instinct.

You use spiky brush strokes –
probe, prod,
aggressive and direct,
take it or leave it brush strokes,
that the eye can hear –
Red, green, blue – pure, radiant, bright –
squeezed straight from tube
onto the hungry canvas.

You, Henri, paint
to feed that Russian
mad Shchukin’s ravenous appetite.

You paint in stages,
paint men, women with no history
paint Eden
before the fall.

Lawyer of line

“My curves are not crazy.”
~ Henri Matisse


strong sinuous,
living form,
dancing, playing, embracing,
revelling naked on the sands.


landscape filled with languid plants and energetic animals,
music of reed flute and rustic fiddle –
your eyes move sensuously over your muse’s skin.


wrought iron balcony
palms and shutters in the south of France,
striped trousers of a harem girl.


dot, spot and mottle, curlicue and scroll,
simple, distorted
pattern, pattern within pattern
table or tapestry,


window, ceiling,
wall, floor.


the clutter of an over furnished room,
Near eastern art, African mask,
Islamic houri paradise,
jazz with dark rhythms
with roiling counterpoint,
its happy staccato,
jolting dis so nance.
rhythm of life,
blue, yellow, red
and so sublime


the dancer.

Brush with Heaven

You saw yourself dying
as an invalid stuck in a metal corset
Yet here you surround yourself
with your flower books.

First dying of appendicitis,
your mother gave you paints
and you found life.
Then nearly drowning in the Garonne,
you learned to swim in color.

Dying of cancer
cursing that sleep that would not come
you find your scissors, paper,
the syncopation of jazz.

You suffer a heart attack in Nice
while the world begins to die
as a hydrogen bomb explodes in Bikini Atoll,
and yet we look –
we find no trace of dying in your work.

We ask – Where can happiness be found now?
and then we see you yet again
with brush on a fishing pole,
painting the walls of hospital room
and wonder about the vault of Heaven
when your brush reaches to touch it.


From The False Mirror
by Blaine Greenwood
© 2017 Blaine Greenwood
Published by Ekstasis Editions