Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Ben Nicholson

On the way back from the Lake District, we stopped off in Kendal. While we were there, we visited a Ben Nicholson exhibition. I didn't know much about him, although I was already fond of the work of his one-time wife, Barbara Hepworth.


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.

1 comment:

The Weaver of Grass said...

Your poem has made me want to see the Ben Nicholson exhibition for myself.