Paint Box Poem - GTEC Reader


First, a thin wash.
Decent paper and brush, masking tape.
Radio 3 or 4. Paints from the charity shop.
The entire dining table.

Lay the light down first then build up the dark.
Step back: What’s it about?
The curve in the road?  Arc of the bridge?
That shape, that contrast?

Be brave.
Keep your glazes clean, your water clear.
One line better than many,
don’t fudge, don’t smudge.


Early May, Hawthorn bursting bridal—
Hockney calls it “Action Week”, Yorkshire,
when summer barges in, full, lush,
as if on display
but in fact not, just hot.

Shade light shade light. This is my place—
not “rightful”—random luck.
But I was born here and it feels like home
like nowhere else.

Madly, intoxicatingly beautiful, this place,
those trees, those bird calls.
Friendships still wick, still able
to bloom.


(And the woman in a white dress disappears
into the shadowed garden, Monet’s skies
billowing, heaven-blue
crowning the hills, lime green after rain).

Turns out diamonds are not that rare, turns out
they’re everywhere.
The shadow on the edge of stair,
road’s curve to vanishing point—
line, the line of beauty.

Painting grows out of poetry
as green will fork from a tree
and the adult emerge from the child—
though our eyes remain the same.

Line, line—
I have forgotten how to feel sorrow.

Prize winning poet, Miranda Pearson, is well-known on Canada’s West Coast and in the UK. Her recently published fourth book of poems, Rail, is available in book stores now.Miranda was born in Westerham Kent, England. She attended art school in London, and studied at the University of Brighton. She moved to Canada in 1991 to work as a psychiatric nurse. Miranda received an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, where she was poetry editor for Prism International. Pearson has taught Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia and at Simon Fraser University.