Still Life                                     © David Campbell

She sets the easel firmly in the years…just so…
arranges the palettes
to summon at will the colours of her life.
The sweep of a soft brush
delineates a centre of interest…the family.
A warm vision flows from fingers of memory,
opaque in cadmium yellow and orange
on a pale-wash background.

She leans back, head tilted, eyes half-closed,
confines her focus within the borders of happiness,
outlines the delicate play of light across the surface,
shades her friends in layered crimson
tinged by subtle greens and blues, each highlight
emphasised by complementary colours…
lemon against cobalt blue, red against turquoise.
She adds acquaintances at the periphery in muted greys,
drops in ultramarine shadows, chiaroscuro-style,
works soft edges around primary features.

The brush, drained of all colour, is set aside.

Her translucent purple-veined hands flutter,
pluck sounds from the air,
lay them down, treble and bass, set in harmony…
point, counterpoint…
melodies flowing softly as patterns of light and shade
etched in the rise and fall
of voices from the past.

A vibrant image emerges from time, an illusion
exquisite in detail,
perfectly rendered by an artist of sublime skill
for her own pleasure…
a fragment of beauty captured in the mind’s eye
for a priceless collection.