The Painter

The painter,

light dimming,

quits the studio

 

Leaving noon

to flare at seven,

blossom, vase, sky

 

Washing the sunlight

from his hands

he enters evening

 

A caress of colour

inside time

has caught time

 

Stopped the scissors

closing on the dial.

Separated from midday

 

by no lie of brightness

the rhetorical flowers

are hammered to the canvas

 

state themselves.

A match spurts up

and the door closes

 

Shadows encroach

ink the painting over

while the man

 

following the tip

of his cigarette

goes down the now dark street

 


from A Puzzling Harvest: Collected Poems 1955-2000 (Anvil Press Poetry, 2002), © Harry Guest, used by permission of the author and the publisher

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