Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Exploring New Roads

Writing this blog has been a chance for me to grow. My confidence in my photography and my writing has been increased during the two-and-a-half years that I have been doing this. In fact, writing this blog has given me a chance to expand my horizons, and to try different forms of writing. Traveling can inspire many things. It has gotten me to go beyond just writing travel guides, and to attempt some fiction and poetry. Here is some of what I have produced.

The Lion’s Dream

I was walking through the collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and I saw Henrí Rousseau’s painting The Dream. Rousseau (1844-1910) was a self-taught painter during the post-impressionist era. His work is considered Naïve or Primitive.

The Dream is almost surreal, with its positioning of a nude woman reclining on a day bed in a jungle. While Rousseau has written about the dream being the woman’s dream, my attention was captured by the two lions whose faces are in the center of the painting. This short-short is what came from this inspiration:

The Lion’s Dream

By Jonathan Lessuck (inspired be The Dream by Henrí Rousseau)

Henri Rousseau - Il sogno.jpg
By Henri Rousseau - Unknown, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10749748

-What do you want?
-Open your eyes!
-Open your eyes!
-Why? It’s the middle of the night!
-That’s what I thought, but something is not right.
-What do you mean?
-Open your eyes!
-Shit! Where did all those people come from?
-Good, you see them too.
-What happened?
-That’s what I was going to ask you!
-But where did our home go?
-It’s still behind us. I think that idiot playing a flute woke me up.
-And where did that sofa come from?
-I have no idea. Maybe those people out there brought it.
-But where did those people come from, and why do they stop and stare at us?
-Betty, did we eat those mushrooms again?
-Oh man, I told you it was a bad idea
-Close your eyes and go back to sleep. They will all be gone in the morning.


One of the highlights of the Robert Lehman Collection at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City is Two Young Girls at the Piano be Auguste Renior (1841-1919). It was painted in 1892 on commission from the French Government, to be displayed in the new Museé de Luxembourg. This painting is one of four versions that Renior produced. What I saw was the friendship between these two girls. They are presented as being totally comfortable with each other, enjoying an afternoon of song. It inspired this poem:


By Jonathan Lessuck (inspired by Two Young Girls at the Piano by Auguste Renior (1892)

Auguste Renoir - Young Girls at the Piano - Google Art Project.jpg
By Pierre-Auguste Renoir - ZAGwT97hbG0-sg at Google Cultural Institute maximum zoom level, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21857233

The day was warm but mother
            Said don’t go out
So we sat at the piano

The song was new and
            We didn’t know it
But you played and we sang

Sunbeams bathed us and
            Lit the room
Which we filled with our voices

An afternoon spent in
Joyous song
You and me, friends

1 comment:

  1. Hey Jon, the poet laureate of our apartment. Love that you are exploring different aspects of yourself and your writing. I like the first one best. Your sense of humor all over it. Keep it up.