Life, in death, in life – Poem – Inspired by a painting

I’ve been inspired to write a poem based on another of Leslie Whites paintings called October. She does wonderful work and takes the time to explain the process as well. Thank you Leslie for, once again, inspiring me to write and letting me post your painting along with the poem it inspired.

Life, in death, in life

October - Painted by Leslie White

October - Painted by Leslie White


I sit

Enjoying now
Not fretting about future
Nor pondering the past
Just embracing now

I feel

The sun, warming skin on legs and forearms
Breezes rustling through grass and trees
Caressing little hairs on the back of my neck
Tugging gently on my ball cap
Cooling my thoughts

I listen

An acorn drops from high above
Bouncing its way down the tree
Branches here, leaves there
Then off the ground a time or two

Slowly it continues its way down the little slope
Should it hide under this leaf
Stop at that stick
No, it continues on

Finally coming to rest off to my right
Finding its place to snuggle in for the night
A little hole where it will hide
Resting and waiting for Spring rains
More follow in light of its success

I see

Blades of grass fading out preparing for winters sleep
Leaves exploding in color as they prepare for final decent
The sun smiling down on the acorn with the knowledge of next year

A squirrel, tired from giving chase to another
Scratching her way down and around the massive trunk
Stops, lifting head, twitching tail
One last check

Then on, down to the ground
She scampers a few feet, eyes the acorn, pauses
Thirst drives her on
Will she remember, who’s to say
Who will win

I sit
Arms resting on bent knees
Watching the colors bend and bleed
Coming alive, while dying, before my eyes

Life, in death, in life

I am

At Peace
Stephen Kellogg – 2011

About Stephen Kellogg

Poetry, Ponderings, Prose, Photos & Pounding out the Pathways All at my blog... I hope you'll take a few minutes to wander around the site. Not all of what you read there will be happy or sad etc. but I trust my writings, photos etc will encourage, touch, inspire or just make you think…. I really appreciate feedback!! Thanks and enjoy Peace! Stephen Kellogg All of my writings, pictures etc are original works, unless otherwise noted, and should be considered copyrighted.
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18 Responses to Life, in death, in life – Poem – Inspired by a painting

  1. Pingback: October « Leslie White

  2. lesliepaints says:

    I think your poem is beautiful and I can see the feeling through your words, Stephen. I really like the idea of watching the squirrel come down the trunk and the acorn dropping. You gave life to my watercolor. Thank you so much!

    • Leslie,
      If your paintings weren’t already so full of life, I wouldn’t be inspired to write about them. It’s great that we can see and appreciate the beauty in each others creative works. Thanks for the comment “I can see the feeling through your words” that means a lot!



  3. penpusherpen says:

    I enjoy Leslie’s Watercolours…, they are a testament to a moment in time… and your poem adds a touch of spice, a background story if you will….I have a visiting squirrel, every day it sits and eats his fill on my bird table,,.. I call ‘him’ Cyril… Tho’ I suppose ‘he’ could be a ‘she’ as you’ve described .. 😀 xPenx

  4. Pen,
    Thank you for stopping by and especially for leaving a comment. Leslie’s paintings have inspired me to write on several occasions. Look around a bit and you’ll find them or do a search on my site for “inspired by a painting” and I believe you’ll find 8.



  5. Epics Wife says:

    “Watching the colors bend and bleed
    Coming alive, while dying, before my eyes”
    I love this line 🙂 Just beautiful!
    I have missed seeing you on here. How have you been?

    • Mel,
      Thanks! I think that may be my favorite line in this as well. I’ve been busy, but it seems we all are these days. Life demands it sometimes :D.
      I’m settling into the new place well. In fact, I may try to post a couple of photos of the back deck area tonight. As always, I hope to be posting more soon but we’ll see what time I can carve out.

      Good to hear from you hope all is well on your end.



  6. Yes, that’s the spirit! To enjoy today and not worry about tomorrow, because today is when you make difference … Be happy!

    Thanks for visiting me, it was nice to see a comment from you!


  7. Blaga,
    I enjoyed the post I commented on very much and I appreciate you stopping by here and leaving a comment. I hope to be on more in the upcoming months, but we’ll see.



  8. Yousei Hime says:

    Isn’t Leslie great! Your poem does her work honor too. Beautiful and thoughtful.

  9. Yousei,
    Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my work. Yes, Leslie is Great!… and very inspiring. If you like poems inspired by her paintings, click on the word
    in “my tag cloud” on the left side of my blog. I believe there are seven poems inspired by her paintings so far…



  10. Yousei,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to read and especially to provide all the feedback. My poetry will likely come a bit slower this month, if at all, as I am currently working on a novel. I’ll post more about it soon.

    Thanks again!



  11. Yousei,
    Thanks! I’m behind schedule for the month but hope to catch up over the weekend. I sat down to write on my novel tonight but couldn’t let Veterans Day pass without some kind of post.

    I’ll swing by your site, for a longer stay, sometime this weekend… for now it’s off to novel land …



  12. hames1977 says:

    dear stephen,

    you write beautifully, simple and elegantly laid emotion, not so pushy, just a laid-back memoir and perhaps it tells a story on its edges. i love your writing style, that i should learn from, writing it clearly from the heart 🙂

    • Marvin,
      I wrote a reply to your wonderful comment a while ago but just noticed that for whatever reason, it didn’t make it to the page. So, let me again say thank you for your kind words. I’m glad you feel the writing is from the heart and it means much to me that you expressed it that way. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment and I look forward to looking at your blog as well.



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