Wings on the beach

after “Small Flies and Other Wings” oil on canvas by Christine Ay Tjoe

Not all is beauty here, despite
the broad alabaster expanse,
cobalt sky feather-stroked with clouds,
waves from teal depths casting foam
crashing on the umber sand;
bird footprints lead to clouds
of small flies rising from a buzzard’s
battered cadaver, glossy onyx
pinions spread like shadows
from other wings of swooping gulls
squealing and wheeling up above.

These wings, these flies,
all are beautified, dainty
as petals, rose and magenta,
tissue-paper thin, dark
blue, grays and black splashes
relieving the eye, India ink
pinning the specimens,
flightless, still wet
from the killing jar.

Inspired by a dVerse prompt

7 comments

  1. I love the way you tricked me into a false sense of security, despite the warning in the opening line, Denise, with the shift from a colourful seascape, ‘cobalt sky feather-stroked with clouds’ to ‘small flies rising from a buzzard’s battered cadaver’. That is such a poignant image in the lines:
    ‘glossy onyx
    pinions spread like shadows
    from other wings of swooping gulls’.
    And then the shift from delicate, pastel-coloured wings in the second stanza into
    ‘…dark
    blue, grays and black splashes
    relieving the eye, India ink
    pinning the specimens,
    flightless, still wet
    from the killing jar.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. this was a real joy to read – the descriptions flow so well and the link-up in part ii with Tjoe’s painting is so painterly
    “tissue-paper thin, dark
    blue, grays and black splashes
    relieving the eye,”

    and then that ending- the unexpected left till last!!

    Liked by 1 person

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