published in Connections 22, 2000;
collection, Waterhouse and the Tempest,
Acumen, ISBN 978-1-8731612-2-7.
Waterhouse and The Tempest
One of his last depicts
her on a coast
shattered stone. She grips her damp red hair
one smudged hand. No palms or glowing dunes
Cornish granite traps the cobalt air,
sea an oily swell, a fractured mast
doglike at her feet. Her durable
dress, red-cuffed, resists this British gale.
in an upper corner of his work
model ship is coaxed towards the rocks.
childish print another corner offers
name and year of painting: nineteen-sixteen.
than fresh drawn sap she stares and suffers
those that she saw suffer: sailors lost
drowned almost before her father's word
the storm and lulls them gently home.
artist, sixty-seven and one year
death by cancer, holds no magic wand
quell the thunder. He reads this morning’s list
casualties and mouths each fading name,
aching bulk sunk in a garden chair,
style of art unfashionable, threadbare
even maudlin; while that girl, the same
all his pictures, treads towards the tide
hears no music on the tainted air.