The Painter

A seascape, mostly of sea and sky
Painting by Suzi Stephens,
and gratefully shown here.

She makes her work by day, below,
in one brown-tiled room that serves
as kitchen, lounge, and studio.
Her easel set to catch the light,
she paints in creams and indigo.

With slim yet muscled arms and hands
She pushes pigments into place.
Then, as the daylight fades, she stands
at garden’s end to watch the sun
that sinks beyond the sea and land.

At night, in bed above, she lies,
and tries to fix the colours down,
though now they swirl behind closed eyes.
There’s more in sea than land, she says,
and yet still more in clouded skies.

I struggled with a sense of obligation to add a stanza with some sort of commentary that would give this little poem more substance. But in the end I decided that, because the poem is about the simplicity – the purity – of a life devoted to one artistic quest, the poem should also be simple.

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