A November Morning, 1883

She walked the lane alone
but not lonely in her solitude.
Sun deserting the sky above,
unforgiving stone beneath her feet.
Cold seeped into her bones.
Barren trees stood starkly,
as if joining in her grief.
This day she walked
to the burial ground,
basket of pinecones in hand.
She would spread them on his grave,
autumnal offering for her sin.

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe.

Today we’re working with ekphrastic poetry: poems written about works of art. Merril asks us to choose from several paintings she provides, and write a poem inspired by one of them. I’ve selected the painting, A November Morning (1883) by John Atkinson Grimshaw. I’ve taken the liberty of borrowing his title for my title as well.

Ancient Artist’s Final Days

Alone his last weeks,
squirreled away in abandoned dune shack
sole window open to ocean’s ebb and flow.
Easel, sawhorse-table, canned goods,
sleeping bag and brushes. Minimal décor.

She’d left him years ago,
but each day she came closer.
Porcelain skin, barely blushed cheeks
velvet brown eyes as he remembered them,
brimming love.

Pale coral tinted mouth,
retouched each day.
Gently he brushes her lips,
moistens them as mornings dawn,
heart searing, needing her.

Ribboned strapless sheath
painted to reveal sultry throat, soft shoulders.
Delicate fingers hold blooming vine.
Each rose carefully painted,
petaled to life.

Until at last he smells her scent,
roses permeate his soul.
One last rose lovingly placed
centered within her crowning hair,
her essence complete.

And so he sleeps his final sleep
as gulls squall in the distance
and waves create his elegy.
His bluing lips smile in repose,
knowing she is nearby.

I am hosting at dVerse today, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. I’m delighted to have reconnected with artist Catrin Welz-Stein who is graciously allowing us to select one of four provided images as motivation for our poetic creations today. I’ve chosen the beautiful image above – it was hard to choose as all four are magical in my opinion. You can find more of her work here: Catrin Welz-Stein, Join us today to see art-inspired poetry – what is called ekphrastic poetry.