3 poems inspired by Andrew Wyeth’s Wind from the Sea painting viewed in the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC on this day in 2016.

Wind from the Sea

In an upstairs room
At the end of the hall
Sat the man
On a cast iron bed

Bare boards and naked bulb
Unlit in the evening’s decline
The field outside viewed
Through a half-opened sash window
Two net curtain ghosts
Floating like torn shrouds
On a saintly breeze

No-one had been this way for years
He wasn’t even sure he was still breathing
Not since the birds had stopped singing
Or the rain falling

For all was dust and peeling paper
Cracked and dry
Parched as a hobo’s lips in summer
Crippled as a beggar on a city street corner
Sky white
Unending
Questioning

The man sighed away his seconds

(20th June 2017)

 

The View Behind

The man turned to see
her lain upon the bed
The glimmering girl with
apple blossom hair
The wind from the sea
caressed her cheeks
Whispered lullabies
far too sweet

Rising from the edge
of dark reverie
He threw a shadow
upon her face
A rippled splash
in which he sank
Like silver trout
after the fly

And down the hall
retraced his steps
The pictures hung
on tired threads
From light to dark
and back again
A mirrored room
cast iron bed

He sat and watched
the view behind

(22nd June 2017)
with some borrowing from
The Song of Wandering Aengus
by William Butler Yeats

 

Pictures at an Exhibition

The older I get
The less I understand women…

He could feel her nails clawing at his back
But he would not look round –
To apologise twice would be grovelling
And what was done was done

The fact that she still wants me to, well
It’s tantamount to reliving the original act
And I’m not having any of that
Not after all these years

Besides
Life was only ever meant to be a work of fiction
Like pictures at an exhibition or walking down the hall
From one identical room to another

You continue to take away from it what you want
Regardless of any stillborn intent –
The fact that you keep bringing it up
Doesn’t make a jot of difference to me

He knew this would raise her hackles
Even from the dead she still taunted him
Every fucking day the same
It was why he had moved out here

To get away from your fury
But you had to follow me and haunt me
And fill my head and house with anger
Whilst outside the landscape remains empty –

The less he understood women
The older he got…

(24th June 2017)

IMG_20160726_155709

Wind from the Sea by Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009)
tempera on hardboard, 1947
National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, USA

 

 

2 thoughts on “3 poems inspired by Andrew Wyeth’s Wind from the Sea painting viewed in the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC on this day in 2016.

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