Still Life with Oranges (II)

by Lisa Megraw
Wild Poetry Forum
Second Place, November 2016
Judged by RIchard Krawiec


- After Matisse

i. natural light

When your labour of wet brushes
places an oxblood curtain
next to an olive pitcher

long after ghosts have abandoned
the grey fog of your morning,
your chest feels hollow enough

to wake the starlings in your wrists
and bow your head to work
over a wall fringed with afternoon’s ochre,

where light reflects off bone china
and the shadows that have gathered
their own field of blue irises

cradle the light of oranges.

ii. inverted image

When the cracking of paint
moves a turquoise window
further from a mauve pitcher

days before summer’s cerise blossoms
open with the certainty of new birth,
your head feels full enough

to stare into the night’s cerulean,
watch midnight collect
in curved china

and twilight scatter small
orange flowers
that collapse beneath

the insurmountable distance of blue.


The language here matched the beauty of Matisse’s painting, so reading was as sensual an experience as viewing a luscious impressionist artwork in a gallery. Some lines were so pleasurable to speak it was almost like dining on the words - the insurmountable distance of blue. Some interesting use of imagery - wake the starlings in your wrists. --Richard Krawiec

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