Ekphrases – a pas de trois

(Hiroshige – Whistler – Hokusai)

Asphalt gleams with the dark of sleeked crow feathers. The curve of the pavement suggests a bridge to a far away place. Umbrella after umbrella after umbrella…

morning deluge
headlamps of cars
conjure moonlight

And there it is. The moon shines full in the sky above Kyobashi Bridge. A man navigates his rustic craft beneath with its simple cargo. He passes by the bamboo yards. No fireworks here. The lunar disc suffices.

woodblock prints
glint back from his eye
on the twilit Thames

He catches the ancient wooden structure before demolition. Old Battersea Bridge. One of his series with hints of music. His aim to convey a sense of tranquillity, harmony too. For many a night he trawls the river accompanied by the oarsmen he hired, for a touch of some elusive beauty to apply by oil on canvas in his studio back home. Nocturne in Blue and Gold. Lunar light appears as a shower of sparks that fall beyond the shadowy figures who walk above a man silhouetted, poised at the edge of his barque, the only cargo a gilded spot.. It seems the remnant is jettisoned. Into the water it pierces deep, while a fragment ricochets high in the sky where it forms a streak. There are buildings with windows lit from within which cast their light to lap at the bridge.

in stipples of paint
birdnotes at dawn

Up there he perches on a branch of tree blossom watching a spider. The threads connect like the spokes of umbrellas. Droplets fall. One clings, suspended. A glimmer of sunrise.

Diana Webb

Ekphrases – a pas de trois

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