After ‘Clouds Clearing’ pastel on paper by Jules Bradbury

posted in: Poetry

She’s lifted the lid from the sky,

swung Rousay to float

on the grain of her rag paper,

eased her blunt pastel stick

to the island’s black hump.


The clouds she conjured from dust

give weight to its flanks

as she settles its bones

on her cautious blue strokes,

leaching yellow, leaching green

and the dull white rim peers through

the blank she started from.


The black isn’t dumb.

What is cracked and raw

is a land built on crazed stone.