For Alan Lee


True beauty is found 
In the mind of an artist.
When Alan reads, he says,
“the pictures just appear.” Then -
With practiced, graceful hands,
He plays out his melody envisioned:
On canvas, or paper,
With pencil or brush.
A blessing to the heart and to the soul.
How many countless images of exquisite beauty
The world is never to share -
Sweeping through his mind.
They are treasures that are his
And his alone they will forever remain.

We who wait may treasure only the smaller portion;
Crystalline drops that cling to the edges
After clear water has been poured out.
No witnesses to its bright overflowing,
We see only the evidence of its passing.
He captures it for us, and carefully lays it out before the
Watching eye of the world.
Painfully lovely, touchable, real.
Ethereal as mist, yet within the grasp of history.
 
An artist’s dream became reality;
That he could step among it
In this waking world
And softly run his hands over the shapes
Of the melody of his mind -
In a place where others could share in it, also.

How many hold such beauty in the mind,
That our visions populated would bring us any comfort?
To think of the corners of our minds thus examined,
And flesh given to our visions…
Shielding our eyes, we cringe away.
Such unspeakable sweetness that is in this man:
He need not fear.
In his hands even the hues of darkness gain a muted grace.
Alan’s visions are tracery, light and autumn colors,
Bittersweet delicacy, strength of age.

How grateful we are for his willingness to share
His beautiful mind –
That we may be allowed this singular glimpse,
A small window briefly opened in sun-splashed ice.
Though we gain only a passing flash
Of an inner glory,
Silver, iridescent -
Slipping away under the waters.
We can only gape,
Calling it “inspiration” but without understanding.
 
Labels are easily given, but not easily comprehended
By those whose inward eyes
Merely reflect what others have fed them.
Their visions are
Clouded and mud-swirled, refracted and changed.
No original thought, no original beauty graces their mind’s eye -
None but a borrowed glory in faded rags.

But this consummate artist! - his mind gives forth
In heartbreaking clarity,
Loveliness welling up.
Like a crystal-clear spring;
A true source.
From it’s overflowing
Bright rivulets and streams,
Frothing waterfalls or humble ditches may run
And obtain their fullness and depth.
But they do not fill themselves.
No...
Though it be their greatest desire, they cannot.
They only contain what was given;.
They only hold what they have the capacity,
Or strength of comprehension to hold,
Whether in noble fashion or mundane.

Thank you, Alan Lee.
That you have been willing to fill them thus,
Allowing this part of your heart to be shared;
A providence of clear spring-water.
Our cupped hands overflow.
In sweetness of visions,
We drink.

- Primula