The Miller’s Son – Gillian Bence-Jones

2015 George Crabbe Memorial Competition – Third Prize
Adjudicator: Robert Seatter

Constable loved clouds.
The sky is the source
Of light in nature

And governs everything!
He wrote.

He would go ‘skying’,
Recording the altering sky
On oiled paper fastened
To the lid of his paintbox:
Foretelling sun and rain.

Blake saw one and said
‘why this is not drawing
But inspiration’?

‘I meant it for drawing’
Constable declared.

Not everyone
Could understand
Why he wanted
To paint a barn
Or a barge.

They said his pictures

‘were too green. The best painters
Had brown landscapes. They called
His highlights on willows and water
’Constable’s snowflakes’.

When he was young

His patron asked if he’d follow
Girtin or Van Dyke?

He answered ‘Neither.

But God Almighty’.

He saw the clouds go over

And as he rode home

The complete arch of a rainbow
Came down to his very feet,
And his dog ran through it.

Copyright © 2015 Gillian Bence-Jones




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