Don’t Name What You’re Painting

a water color of hydrangeas and fruit
The set-up is complements (opposite colors) –
a pepper, an apple, and citrus fruits
of various orange hues
against a blue cloth.
If that weren’t enough,
the instructor has brought us
a froth of hydrangeas in aqua and white,
like trembling spring mornings.
But it’s winter. Steel cold.
And today’s about orange and blue
and what brightness might seep in
from murky windows.
Disenthrall yourself, says K.
Focus on forms.
Don’t name
what you’re painting.
But it’s wartime and I’m hearing
psalms. Out of the depths
I call to you. And who
will survive?
Take a break, K reminds,
get perspective.
As we stand back for a wider view
my friend phones
from his village
in missile range. They’re almost
used to the bombings.
Can I
just return to the fruit and hydrangea,
their jewel-like tones
and wavery edges?
They balance on a cloth
in a cold room and hint
at new seasons.
They can barely contain
their vibrations.


Watercolor by the poet

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