Poem: A Perfect Distance

A Perfect Distance

There is they say, a perfect distance
to stand from a painting
where you see everything you are meant to see,
where nothing distracts you
and for a time, you become part of the scene.

That is where you will find me
in museums and galleries, walking up and back,
seeking to be lost for a time –

feeling the wind and the salt in the sea,
feeling the sand undwe my feet.
The distant sailboats are no longer still
but wafting over waves.

You can hear the creaking of wheels on the sand
and the groaning oxen as they snort in resentment
of the weight pulling against their broad shoulders.
The crack of a whip, softer than it needs to be,
urging them on.

You are no longer here. You are there
and the distance between imagination and reality
does not blur – it disappears
as you stand transfixed, one of “those” people
in the museum who live in two worlds
painting by painting, dancers in time and cultures,
stock still while their soul dances on the sand.

About this poem.

About art. About imagination so strong it rivals reality. About the moment in today’s world when your lover comes up on the computer screen for a video call. Poetry is never about one thing.

Ain’t it glorious?


PS: The painting is by John Constable, Yarmouth Jetty. Painted about 1822.

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