a small tribute to
Stephen Crane
(1871 - 1900)
American Poet and Author
I stood upon a high place,
And saw, below, many devils
Running, leaping,
And carousing in sin.
One looked up, grinning,
And said, "Comrade! Brother!"

Stephen Crane
The wayfarer,
Perceiving the pathway to truth,
Was struck with astonishment.
It was thickly grown with weeds.
"Ha," he said,
"I see that no one has passed here
In a long time."
Later he saw that each weed
Was a singular knife.
"Well," he mumbled at last,
"Doubtless there are other roads."

Stephen Crane
A man saw a ball of gold in the sky;
He climbed for it,
And eventually he reached it -
It was clay.

Now this is the strange part;
When the man went to the earth
And looked again,
Lo, there was the ball of gold.
Now this is the strange part;
It was a ball of gold.
Ay, by the heavens, it was a ball of gold.

Stephen Crane
Should the wide world roll away,
Leaving black terror,
Limitless night,
Nor God, nor man, nor place to stand
Would be to me essential,
If thou and thy white arms were there,
And the fall to doom a long way.

Stephen Crane
Behold, the grave of a wicked man,
And near it, a stern spirit.

There came a drooping maid with violets,
But the spirit grasped her arm.
"No flowers for him", he said.
The maid wept:
"Ah, I loved him."
But the spirit, grim and frowning:
"No flowers for him."

Now, this is it -
If the spirit was just,
Why did the maid weep?
Stephen Crane
Stephen Crane is best known for writing the classic novel The Red Badge of Courage, but he also wrote over 100 free verse poems. His "spirited" writing style was fueled by coffee, tobacco and lack of sleep which hastened the effects of tuberculosis and led to his early death. As he sensed death approaching he wrote furiously, perhaps determined to be remembered as a writer. Soon after learning all this about Mr. Crane I asked myself, 'Aren't we all dying?' and the output of my paintings doubled. These five paintings, which were shown at Goldfish Gallery during April 2009 and are included in my "Myst" book, are meant as a tribute to him.

~ Charles Keenan
"I will be savoring it, especially the five Crane paintings, but they are all gorgeous! I can't wait to display it at the Crane House."

~ Francis D'Alessandro
Co-Curator of The Stephen Crane House
Asbury Park, NJ