Dame Autumn Hath a Mournful Face

After John Atkinson Grimshaw

You don’t yet know the fae.
Its church arches and bones.
It overlays on the trees
which become a seething delta

How the pools reflect black
to spite what they note above them
never sure of the horizon
your gaze wanders, unceasing

thin and twisting flowers
the green, and floating flakes of gold leaf
the faintly blue of the night
then, which slips alongside – her;

uncreasing the folds between worlds –
her insect wing-shimmer. And bright
shines one thing nakedness can do
mournfully at you, with a crown of flowers

The fae curves just like this.
It worships with patient light
that which you may worship.
If she wants you, touch the canvas.

V.2

In the repurposed church, music
recessed into the walls, and dark
times ahead. Seems to be the thing
which repeats on me like music

But day after day I have fun
I say to myself have fun, I
say over and over again
that emphasis is in the wrong

place, like the climbing site I saw
straight through. with my pen and paint set
in stone, I recorded in paint
the view from the chevin. over

coming the attitude required
reading. and the trees became marks
vectors in an ancient game of
tropes and niches and clades and more

quietly as the paint’s surface tension
belongs in the world of calmness.
How should I say this? Unsettled
times when I am meditating

through use of representation.
Where neuronal activity
Is both the cure and the problem
child in the way that clouds descend

V.1

Four woodpigeons pace the garden
of my adolescent dreamscape –
when tree houses hung suspended
above dark woods. And faceless things

were different back then they belong
among us, deep in my headspace
one pigeon is puffing itself
greater than the others, it thinks

one would suppose, and then settles
the argument. Flown to the woods
I hear the uniquely quiet
sound of paintbrush on old jam jar

where Beatrix Potter’s stand in
with warm and wiry red hair sits
on the fence and marks pigments out
of this world, and makes paintings

hang in my childhood, in halls with
abandon. a picture of me
and Van Gogh. I am young and
wiry. I paint now because these

are the deep horsehairs that gallop
out when I sit on the beach rock.
I will build my mind the gates of
time will not prevail against me