Poems and Paintings
Editors Note: This week we have a special treat. Along with two poems by Elizabeth Potter, we also have the paintings that inspired them. It’s rare that we get to feature this kind of collaboration, so I hope you enjoy it.
An apparition moves
when the sea desires company.
Restless with lapping at rock,
her longing lifts–
an aeroform gypsy…
She creeps up the banking,
curls in arches of ferns
breathing in their rooty darkness…
Then climbs slender necks of white birch,
tracing underside of branches;
they do not need eyes to know
it is her moving among them.
They understand the sea can move this way–
caress with spectral feathers cool and moist
and drift away as fast as she alights,
imparting a sheen to whatever she touches,
as if newly born.
Let’s look ahead to where we’re going,
brush the mercuried silk
of morning ocean with ready paddles,
point the red tip of our canoe
toward land we cannot see
but sense ahead–
a musky creature lumbering out of fog
smelling of sinewy earth and sharp pine.
You let me lead,
your woman’s body understanding
the itch of a younger version of yourself.
You steady the boat,
steer true with subtle underwater adjustments,
watch my back and remember
your own narrow hips before child,
your own eagerness to get there.
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