Other eyes

The Daily Post prompt is: tourist

I used this painting very recently, but it’s the kind of image that preys on my mind.

1280px-Pawel_Petrowitsch_Tschistjakow_001

In that village on the hill,

Where every house has shutters green,

And yellow ochre plasters walls,

And pines cast shade, a midday screen,

The people move with gestures same

As yours and mine, they eat, complain,

They lean on windowsills and plan,

They long for places we disdain.

Old men beneath the church wall sit,

Or by the fountain’s shady side.

Women call their children home,

Good smells waft through windows wide.

We walk in wonder cobbled streets

And wish that this could all be ours,

We’d make such beauty food and drink

And never pine for fog or showers.

 

The girl stops peeling beans to watch

The tourists passing in the street,

Her eyes so wistful full of dreams

Of the people she will never meet.

The peace to her is boredom pure,

The future planned to her last breath,

No beauty in old stones she sees,

Only slow and lingering death.

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Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

14 thoughts on “Other eyes”

  1. Jane. You do credit to this extraordinarily evocative & beautiful painting. Your poem is every bit a perfect fit, to the mood & somber perspective, a lovely pairing. I can entirely see why you’d come back to this painting, it is rare to feel that way and when you do it’s quite exciting because it provokes far beyond our usual response.

    1. I’m so pleased you enjoyed this one. I love this painting, a little because it reminds me so much of Italy, and the girl seems to epitomise the hopes and longings of so many girls trapped in a beautiful world that only has the possibility of love to offer.

      1. You have a good eye Jane for picking images and then pulling out of yourself, a poem that seems to walk hand-in-hand with that image. A hard thing to do indeed, I wish they would do an exhibit of poetry written about paintings you’d definitely be included or should be.

      2. Thank you! I’m so pleased you like the effect. I usually write the poem then look for an image to represent it, but sometimes there’s already an image in my mind, probably subconsciously, like this one, that pops up spontaneously.

      3. I can tell you wrote the poem with the image already in your mind, that really gives it the connection and reflection that empowers the writing even more than usual.

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