Vanessa Bell Self-Portrait

Vanessa Bell Self-Portrait
[Oil on Canvas, 1958,
     The Charleston Trust, Lewis]

I could again
be the staid daughter of a
Sussex parson dropped back to the
Edwardian after so many tropes
of art and love from Omega to alpha.

So does time circle
each days’ waiting for my longer evenings
in the safe hat and scarf, the glasses
and the gaze into the almost nothing
that is my due after the asylum
and so many ‘isms dying almost back into the
mind of violent colours lent from
another revolution than our quiet
English excitation. How do I  . . . ?

Words for my sister and the silent
art for me of isolation after the drowning
and other killings that cannot quite weigh down
the eye to oil on canvas and away from
the distortions of too long life.

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