A chained-up seascape painter looks at fields.
Cross them and he would see while in peril
On the chalk cliffs yelled at by black-masked gulls
The harbour and its blue boats, waves coming,
And the vast men who called him a sissy
For painting the sea, not drowning like them.
The night foxes know the reach of his chains,
Sit like bored embers in the meadowsweet.
They have come through the clumps where his paintings
Are nailed to trees, waves coming, silently
Facing sea-going weevils sky-walking
To a bent nail like a scuttled dreadnaught.
Over the bar in the Mariner’s Rest
A seascape stared at by a full dead room.
copyright © Steve Walker all rights reserved