No Rower’s Wind

3 December 2017

The azure blue
and whipped cream white
boat rocked on the chop
whipped wild by the mistral.
Blew an angry
wind in paradise,
shaping the olive trees
into the figure in Munch’s “The Scream.”
The rosemary sought advice from the sage.
The lavender scented, with calm, frayed
nerves.  The wind crept between
the slats of shutters,
leaving rooms strewn
with finely grit earth.
The blue and white boat argued
against the unrelenting mistral,
in a trial the existential
jury could not decide on.
All was left to hang in the air.
To row such water was not
even a thought entering
scullers’ minds, furled closed
like the umbrellas on the cafes’ terraces.
The sky had turned the color of mercury,
fitting reply to so mercurial a wind.
Indoors, people sat looking out.
That was about the extent of what
passed as activity.

Philip Kuepper
(24 November 2017)

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