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I wonder

just why she strolls
twirling her sky-blue parasol
through half-cut cornfields

while reapers down scythes
shelter from midday heat by
sheaves of bundled corn

just why her shoulders droop
why her back is turned from cliffs
viridian blue bay — &
that tiny canvas sail
drifting outward & away

just why she ignores
its mast & taut sail, lighthouse,
whitewashed church steeple

just what dream-motes dance
before her cast-down eyes / just what
cliff-top walks re-play

just what was said as
they trod twilight dew-drenched paths
one last needless time

Richard Burchett (1817—1875) ‘View across Sandown Bay, Isle of Wight, cornfield with figures and sea in a distance’ probably of 1855

Richard Burchett (1817—1875) ‘View across Sandown Bay, Isle of Wight, cornfield with figures and sea in a distance’ probably of 1855

This ekphrastic poem, lightly edited by Helen May Williams, is the result of a collaborative Penfro Poets workshop, led by Ros Watson, held at Rhosygilwen on 28/11/2015.