1) This is in response to this week’s poetic prompt on ‘taxes, duties, obligations etc’ at http://dversepoets.com/this-is-us/
2) At the Tate Modern’s Paul Gauguin exhibition was a painting ‘Harvest Le Pouldu’ that had the following note: Accepted by HM Government in lieu of tax and allocated to Tate Gallery’
The Brittany sea is not blue, not really.
Peer close and you see brush strokes
in its surface. A multitude of strokes and
colours. Not just hues of blues, but a pallet
embracing purple and lavender that
flow out from the headland at Le Pouldu.
Blocks of colour; sombre deep greens and
bolshie browns jut out from the land and only
then do you catch a glimpse of black-masted
yachts lost at sea. But it’s the heart of the scene
that steals the show, sweeping its way across
the canvas, a swathe of yellow to root the eye.
A harvest of brush strokes nudging
the coastline, ripe for reaping. And as
a blue clad figure toils away going about
their business, Gaugin’s red fox looks at
you looking in on this corner of France.
The brush-stroked colours ebb and flow, but
it’s the note on the gallery wall that steals
my eye and raises a question. Did you beggar
yourself before handing this over to the taxman?
Please don’t tell me there was a roof over your head,
a car in the garage, food in your fridge, before
you parted with this window on Brittany.
Tell me you were destitute.
Tell me that tears of blue, purple, lavender and yellow
tumbled down your face as it was packed away.
Tell me your begging bowl was empty as you sat on
the street, as your final harvest was gathered in.