Markings 57 - Poem of the Day
after the painting by John Singer Sargent c. 1912-14.
How the cool pastel colours, wet-on-wet
waves his nakedness into the short slide
of freezing froth and clear green water.
Nothing can prepare the body for this tide
of shock and cold. It is both delicious
and vexatious. Impossible to be too
careful here where all the elements wash
towards his harm. The odds like strewn blue
river stones are stacked against him.
He considers the small rapids at his feet;
a waterfall of perfect purple spin..
Then slips beneath snow-melt down and deep.
Gasps at the smallest sudden clutch of breath
feels it only now as such a little death.
©Jeff Guess 2017