Robert Peake

Masters’ Palette

Crimson is for luck. Cobalt is for commiseration.
King’s Yellow for better days gone by. The painting
arranges itself, if you let it, from burnt offerings

to the eyes and the deep-felt percussion of a distant
time, the drums of spite, the low thump of boots
crossing the bridge into your village. Paint the village

as it was, and let the echoes of shelling ring down
the cobbled streets like rainwater over-spilling
the guttered eaves of the neighbours’ rooftops.

Momentum escapes the brush on the downward stroke,
tapering the cloudscape to a tidy yawn, breaking
the contract between earth and sky, blurring up

sails to horizon point, grinding the textured muslin
into the fore and tickling the topmost slick
of varnish into a boundless, over-bright offering,

a cup out-splashing its vivid pouring of light.
Cerulean promises the breathable sky. Bright ochre
taints our darkness. Bone black for the ashes of love.

Robert Peake is an American-born poet living near London. He created the Transatlantic Poetry series, bringing poets together for live online readings and conversations. His film- poems have been widely screened in the US and Europe. His collection The Knowledge is available from Nine Arches Press.

Robert Peake is an American-born poet living near London. He created the Transatlantic
Poetry series, bringing poets together for live online readings and conversations. His film-
poems have been widely screened in the US and Europe. His collection The Knowledge is
available from Nine Arches Press. He is also published by Poetry Salzburg Press.