by Martha Landman
after Tea in the Bedsitter by Harold Gilman, 1916
Too much blue, too much scent trapped
in this room. Give me ocean, give me sky.
Give me Somerset, let me board in Kent.
A blue bus will do or the wings of a butterfly.
Today on the train even the ocean was ink.
But here, in this room, in this melancholy,
we women fade in blue as if a painter
got stuck in cyan. We’re not meant to cry,
we’re not meant to defy. We’ve no way to elope.
Give me a blue horse, save me from eternity.
Take me to Spain, rush along Canal Bridge,
I’ll sleep on the roadside, seek white days,
a blazing sun, crimson and rose, the coolness
of marble floor. Give me what you want,
give me anything but blue.
Martha Landman writes in Adelaide, South Australia where she is a member of the Friendly Street Poets. Her work has appeared online and in anthologies in the US, UK, Australia and South Africa. Her chapbook, Between Us, was published by Ginninderra Press, Adelaide, in 2019.