Tuesday, 27 May 2014

On the edge of change

Time Will Change It, by Eloise Govier

I am very pleased to say that I have a poem published in the latest edition of The Lampeter Review – Issue 9, Spring 2014. (You can get the magazine in PDF form from the link at the bottom of this post.)

It feels such a privilege to have a little piece of my work published in an international magazine among so many contemporary writers who I admire –   among them Horatio Clare, Maria Donovan, Maggie Harris, Tyler Keevil, Alan Kellermann and Bethany W Pope,  to name just a few.

The painting that inspired this poem is at the top of the page. ‘Time Will Change It’ is part of a series -  The Lakes -  by the Wales-based artist Eloise Govier.  I have written six poems in response to that series, of which this is one.

These apparently bright, cheerful paintings, layered with rich colour, have strangely inspired some of my darkest poetry. Although they look bright and happy, the paintings contain some striking contrasts – and that is where my responses have come from.

On the edge of change

Ripples shine in streaks of silver
as the lake surfaces in twilight,
but below, in blood reds –
                             and further blues -
cruel shadows wait
                             to creep into consciousness.

We sit by the edge,
watching the day sink.
Springy trees are lush,
                     dusky sky is a burst
of intense Brazilian heat -
                  a whore’s breath - as
       sky turns tarty orange
                       around a purple bruise.

And beneath reflection,

                                    what then?
Memories live undisturbed
                 in cold depths.
Are these secret waters our undoing?

Crimson-crushed horizons
                         mark the ruddy sundown.
Look at the beautiful sky, you say,
                          how wonderful to see.
But what I FEEL is
                                    the nearness of the lake bottom.

(after Time Will Change It, a painting in The Lakes series, by Eloise Govier)

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