The Three Graces Poems

26 December 2022

By Philip Kuepper

To An Artist I
(for Valerie Cotton)

Artist Valerie Cotton

They appear a regatta of suggestions of white moths,
the brushstrokes of sailboats on the lake foreground
of the painting you have gifted me with,
remembering Michael;
the sweep of a white
seagull across a sky, blueberry blue,
the sweep of its white flight,
and the sweep of white
cloud suggesting a second seagull
in the background, a spirit seagull,
unintentional, that appeared
after the painting had been finished;
lake foreground, background sky,
the great white sweep of seagull
holding together the whole.
You allow me soar
with spirit out of time,
out of the earthly
delineation determined by time.
You allow me
cut through, with flight,
the web of time, and live beyond.
You have given me

To An Artist II
(for Johanna Morse)

Artist Johanna Morse

The real sun comes into the room,
and finds your painted sun,
and turns it gold,
a shower of gold
onto the painted blue
of river, where rows
the shadow of a rower,
a rower rowing out of reality,
and into the mystical.
I study the painting
you have gifted me with.
I feel my flesh
and bone body fall away,
and become the blue
and gold you have brushed
across and down the canvas.
You have allowed me be
touched by the infinite,
by your having materialized
your soul into this world
we think of as real.

To An Artist III
(for Julia Porter)

Artist Julia Porter

River flows into sky,
sky, river,
a flow of blue
on which five sailboats
are painted as though by the brush
of a breeze; cream sails,
two of which are edged
with a suggestion of red,
the red of cranberry borrowed
from the house, red-trimmed,
that stands in the background
next the bright
green of a tree. The peace of it!,
even of the broken
reflections of the boats
in the transcendent
calm of the water,
a calm you have sailed my way,
a gift of beautiful depths.

(All poems written on 11 December 2022)


  1. I would like to thank all the people associated with HTBS for the
    wonderful, inspiring and informative posts each day and wish you all the
    best for the coming year. Jane Kingsbury

    • Dear Jane – Thank you for your kind words and for reading HTBS.
      We wish you and your husband a good 2023!


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