Heaving the sashes skyward
and swinging the porch door wide
would not suffice.
Through-winds crash in,
tousling tail ends of delicate nets,
throwing them outward,
salt spritz gathers in its gusts;
not an invite
more a forceful request.
My whitewash, clapboard house
has partway succumb to the ocean.
Come! Be close with the ocean!
We unmoor our impromptu gathering,
this cloud-swallowed morn - ship it outside,
dogs in tow. The modest kitchen table,
heavy driftwood, loses its legs
among the surf grass, anchored
with a cast iron candelabra - stifled
ivory towers, exuding soot -
frivolous against the bruise of the sky.
A crochet tablecloth undulates
around an island of various fruits;
one castaway mutt, defending scraps
from long-beaked jabs and swoops.
Our chairs are lapped by sallow waves
I right my slice of cake, raise my thick-set mug
moor my brown, stiff-collared cape
behind my back
as one friend settles her fiddle
into her neck scarf; moon- bright waves
breaking about her night-ocean clothes -
right through to gentle ripples
in her stocking socks.
She thrashes hard -
will not be drowned by the loud heckle
of the ocean, the gull clatter
and our yapping pugs.
This seething wash,
like us, steals from the land,
that steadies the house.
While the gale crests our hair in chaos,
the other friend, whose colouring, she insists
makes the autumn suit her clothes,
turns to the water with a scolding pose
and dances out her contradictions.
This poem was inspired specifically by Andrea Kowch's painting, The Cape. Click here to view.
Stephanie has been writing poetry for little over seven years. Inspiration for her work is varied, but mostly she writes about what she knows and experiences, delighted by an excuse to be quirky. She has performed on a number of occasions and has had work published in The Curlew and on the literary website, Words for the Wild. Stephanie attends the Mid-Kent Stanza group, who do love an ekphrastic challenge.
The Ekphrastic Review
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