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A Splash of Memories
by Caroline Gill

    inspired by J.J. Cotman’s Norfolk Watercolour,
     ‘Bramerton Woods End’

Lead me to where the wherry wove its way
through rippled rivers by the water-weeds,
as Cotman’s stippled shadows spread like seeds
along the tow-path, through the scented hay.
Splashing paint-drops wash the shore,

and lead to where the windmills struck the sky
like kites. They set their sweeping sails to sway
through swathes of sun-drenched fields, where scarecrows play
and crested grebes and swallowtails pass by:
rushing moorhens brush the shore.

Lead me to where the Woods End walkers roam
beside the Yare, beneath the haunting cry
of soaring swans. Swifts sparkle as they fly
and sheepdogs guide the speckled horses home.
Trickling rivers lick the shore,

and lead to where the windswept water speeds
along like fluid paint-runs in the foam:
John Joseph Cotman, Thirtle and ‘Old Crome’
pursue their artistry among the reeds.
Dreamers’ strokes must stream once more.

First Prize in the Davidian Poetry Competition, organized
by Norfolk Poets & Writers in conjunction with Wendy Webb
Books, UK 2003.

Published in the competition anthology, ‘Davidian’,
ed. Wendy Webb, 2003

N.B. Wendy Webb’s Norfolk Poets and Writers blog.


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