They say I am veiled as the paintings in my attic
that I keep my life concealed like skeletons beneath white sheets
that only hair pins hold me together and a spinster’s habits
that I am pale because only tentacles touch my heart.
How little they know what goes on in my secret place,
my haven, where I keep my paintbox, my paints, my easel,
which always tells the truth whoever steps from behind the curtain
into the frame and by the steady brush of my hand coalesces.
Why do I paint them? You ask. Why do I keep their faces
emptied out with a candle above as a nod to their puttering souls
lit without a single match by flames that grow ever brighter
as this island gets more hopeless and I grow wiser?
My life has not been easy. Read this in my downturned lips –
this would not have been my first choice, but now they want me
to oversee the rules of a new game I am hiding my damp brushes
and paints away and smiling a small smile like a masquerade.
Words by Lorna Smithers, who we welcome to the island with this piece. I have had the honor and pleasure of doing the art for two of her book covers- The Broken Cauldron and Gatherer of Souls. It is beautiful writing of the sort that will change your internal landscape. Please visit Lorna here.
Art- Tom Brown