Yugoslavian mountains, lakes, rivers,
he painted, copper, russet, vermilion,
smiled to himself,
born to make as much impression
on this world, he reckoned,
as that brown moth that flittered
by that rock or by the stream, that lamb.
Father huffed and coughed
over his talk of art.
What is that to do with you or who I am?
he questioned him.
Mother understood, remotely.
Always was a distant sail on the water.
But what was never in your line, she said,
is never in your blood.
No money to study in the academy,
never been to the city, anyway,
bound to rural life,
sheep flocks, farm economy.
Over his shoulders, some looked,
grinned, shook heads at his rounded trees,
like those done by a school child, they said,
look like shiny balloons,
big lollipops bought at the fair.
Naïve painter acknowledged himself to be,
so, free of rules, tradition, tuition,
what if, in his paradise vision,
beyond those mountain peaks,
he painted what he had seen alone in photographs,
Inca step pyramids, Sumerian ziggurats,
Breathed in, smiled again.
Free to do so,
made turquoise smears into flowers,
scarlet streaks into trees,
fields from sweeps of indigo.