River Painting


Today I took a watercolour brush,
my palette - a rich potpourri of paint -
with paper primed and ready for my art.
A river - yes - but where to start its course
and in what colour? How to capture clear
crystal fragments bubbling from the deep earth
that stream then over tiny rounded pebbles?
One single stone holds indigo and gold
with tinge of pink, Payne’s blue and malachite.
A sap green tree, its Autumn leaves turning
a burnt sienna streaked with orange stripe,
stands on a bank, in soil raw umber deep,
set with a dozen shades of purple hues.
While overhead, birds fly, their silver wings
tipped by the fiery cadmium scarlet sun.
My river runs down hills, through fields and plains,
an oxbow lake in oxblood red, a swirl
of rose beige highlighting each turn and twist,
shadows cast by bright aureolin light.
Reaching its mouth, stretched wide to meet the sea,
their waters clash to merge in graphite grey.
It is the best that I can do today.

Maggie McLean

If you have any thoughts on this poem, Maggie McLean would be pleased to hear them.