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Writing a Poem, Hoping for a Picture

In my last post, I wrote what came to me on gazing at Rick’s painting for a long moment indeed.

Thankyou, Rick, for letting people like me scribble about your paintings.

It is slightly embarrassing to confess that today when I started on my morning writing, a poem came out instead of the usual prose. I could not stop it or change it, it came and insisted on staying.

I am posting it here. My request to you Rick.( am not sure it is not asking for too much) is to draw me a sketch or painting based on it. I can see it in my mind’s eye, but since I am no artist, I cannot paint. If you have the time, and if you can see into the poem, can you draw out an image for me?

I do not know any other artists on the blogosphere, but would be quite happy if any one else takes up the poem. Ouch…this is embarrassing. Out with the poem now.

I call my poem “In passing

The sky outside is clear, cloudless, precise.

Much like the dying thoughts, perhaps,
of the young sailor before he died
or like his pale brow as he was lashed ashore.

The street lamps stand tall, dark in the bright sunlight.

The road is clean, stark, shining, solemnly awaiting
the funeral march heard, but not seen, down the valley.

The road echoing the mourning wail
across the alleys and across the hills
that are ponderous, transfixed.

The hills, mute in thought for years, beyond memory or reckon.
Waiting for the end, which though now far shall surely
draw close some bright low noon in amorous March
when the earth shall tremble and call death to herself.

For now, the tender breeze would cool the salted necks
of the pall-bearers that stumble up the cobbled path
to carry the sailor for his final rest.

The burial done, they will troop
to the bereaved house, to the mourning widow,
and the mother driven mad with grief.
They will drink, and talk of death and dying.

Soon the ale and beer and the salted meat
will soothe and the talk shall turn
as they eat, to the year’s fishing,
to the coming polls for the council.
Even the widow will breathe
between her tears, ask for her child,
and feed him on a bosom still heaving
with sobs every now and then.

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • damyantig says:

    Absolutely, Rick, at your own time and pace. These things cannot be (and should not be) rushed.

    Just that for some reason I was reminded of this post while commenting on your blog:)

  • rick mobbs says:

    It is going to be a little longer before I have room and time to paint but I definitely want to remember to get back to this.

  • damyantig says:

    Thanks, Lofter:).

    I have an image in my head, but that image is already there in the poem.

    Thanks for taking the time to describe the image this poem conjures up in your mind. In essence, it is essentially the same as mine.

    I hope Rick finds time to paint it, he has so much talent.

  • Lofter says:

    Wonderfully done… you are truly an artist who uses words to paint pictures, each one differing slightly to the minds of the readers.
    I’m not an artist, at least not in the traditional sense, and don’t currently have a photograph of the image your work conjures – but what I see is a cloudy sky over a dark ocean, with the somber colored petals of funeral flowers being gently carried out to sea. I know that’s (most likely) nothing near what you see in your mind’s eye. I just wanted to share what your words showed me.
    Thanks for sharing. It’s beautiful.

  • damyantig says:

    Thanks, Tomachfive:)

  • damyantig says:

    Thank you Rick, and I will wait for when you have time. All the best wishes for the new arrival:)

    And when you do decide to paint this poem, treat it as your own, it is ok if it comes out to be something different. In your hands, it can only be good.

  • tomachfive says:

    Touching and visually eventful. Good for you.

  • rick mobbs says:

    what a lovely and complex poem. Isn’t it odd how they will insist upon being heard. If I ignore the call because of fatigue, or the hour or for some other reason I am always sorry.

    I would love to do something with this but it probably would not come out as a straightforward illustration. Given a free hand I don’t know what shape it would take. It may look nothing at all like the poem when finished, just to warn you. But then again it might.

    Sure, I’d love to try something but you are right, we are prepping and nesting and I’m not getting any time in the studio just now. But I will, and I’ll try something then. I like it that you asked. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Best wishes, Rick

  • Some writing will not be denied.