The Wind From the Sea

The sheer window curtain bellies like a pregnant Muslim woman in her dupatta, filling with secret life from beyond the horizon.

Fine incisions written as tatters say the sea has been restless for ages. The tea kettle outside the painting purrs today will start out calm.

It is enough to know these things without having to say them. Wyeth’s painting holds them before us.

Beyond the curtain is a road leading to the sea, to whales and fishermen with sore red hands. And to you, and to me.


*Wind From the Sea was first published in the Ekphrastic Review

5 responses to “The Wind From the Sea

  1. That’s very, very satisfying Burl. I don’t know this painting but the photo draws my eye into it, and the text plays with it delightfully. Poetry? I think so. Arguably it’s prose or something in that No Man’s Land between the two. Very nice.

    • Thanks John. I’ve given up looking for the line between poetry and prose and strive for “look at this beautiful thing I’ve found and want to share with you.” If that comes across to you here, that makes me happy.

  2. I have loved Andrew Wyeth’s paintings since I was very young and attracted to them—mostly because so many of them were of locations in Maine. It’s interesting that you are providing almost a narrative for this one. His window paintings are his least narrative ones, and there are so many of them. He worked in tempera (like the old renaissance painters) and did many, window paintings. One of my favorites is of a bedroom window, with a big old dog curled asleep on the bed. Last year there was an exhibition at the National Gallery entitled “Looking In, Looking Out,” which featured many of these studies of transparency, perspective and frames….windows are very poetic, after all.

    • I agree. I saw this one at the national gallery this week. It was the only painting I really wanted to see, with limited time available.

  3. Each one, almost as brief as a haiku. Flowing like an ocean wave to its own shore. One after one, after another.

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