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Tag Archives artist


Though we are not quite half way through November

four poppies are blooming in the front garden.

Papaver orientale: voluptuous,

shell-pink; stamens a dark heliotrope;

a cultivar by Cedric Morris, artist

and plantsman, who searched Suffolk’s hedgerows and fields

for common poppies with softer colours –

that simple weed the usual scoundrels

have made a shibboleth of belonging.


A night of wind and rain has downed all but one

in the narrow border, where sedum,



Her mother fixes a sheet of A4,

with a strip of masking tape top and bottom,

to the white board on the easel and ties

an apron round the little artist, who,

when she pulls the wrapping off the present

knows immediately what it is, holding

the child-size plastic palette exactly

as she should. Having chosen the colours –

her favourites: yellow, green, orange, red –

her mother places the paints in the wells.

She chooses a brush, begins, protrudes her tongue,



Another Place ©SCES 2008

We crunch through razor shells and squelch through

blackish silt – there is coal in the drenched sand –

to reach the artist’s cast iron avatars.

They are steadfast against anglers, vandals,

local Tories, jet skiers, the Coastguard,

and the RSPB – but not the wind

or the sea. Some are rusting deeply,

some barnacled already, some sinking

or rising – others missing on this

shifty shore. They have watched the North Sea.