After Ben Nicholson
A tree grows on a hill:
the green darkness of its leaves sets it apart
from the indiscretion of the grass.
On the windowsill a broken stem
leans in a vase and (for a short time)
turns its flower towards the glass.
A woman's face, reflected there, eyes fixed
on an indistinct, unfocused place, an actuality
reduced to pigment, scoured.
A blackness so complete lets nothing out:
the surface ends, there's nowhere (everywhere?) to go from here.
Bright colours circle it about.
Rain softly falls. Beneath a blue-grey sky
wheat stretches. Yellow, lustreless,
like low tide in an estuary.
The line persists. The pencil, turning sharply,
never leaves the paper, moves to enclose
a white space, establishing a shape.