Janet Harper



(inspired by A Woman bathing in a stream, Rembrandt)



It was hot and the air hung too heavy.

He wanted to paint as he always did,

capture the light, hold shadows steady.

The day was moving slowly – dull, fetid,

languorous and thick with flies above mud.

I stood and walked into the sunlit river

to wash and let the cold refresh my blood,

feel a shock, that joyful icy quiver.

I watched small fish in shoals dart for cover

from me, the danger in their watery world.

I mused on escape and artful lovers,

how like paint water is when silt is stirred,

how anyone can make a picture lie

and would he catch the whiteness of my thigh.

Janet Harper is a poet who writes every day and often in collaboration with other poets and visual artists. She has trained in theatre and education. Her work as a teacher in adult and higher education has been all about words and meanings, inspiring a love of language and communication.